Hazard prevention and control in the work environment. Report of a WHO meeting.

Safety Science Group, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.
International Journal of Occupational Medicine and Environmental Health (Impact Factor: 1.31). 02/1995; 8(1):7-10. DOI: 10.1016/0925-7535(95)00007-0
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT On the 19-21 September 1994 an international meeting of experts was convened at the World Health Organization office in Geneva. The result of this meeting was the formation of the PACE working group. PACE stands for 'Prevention And Control Exchange'. It is a programme designed to stimulate the sharing of solutions and control measures in order to reduce occupational hazards. Internationally there is wide agreement on the need for sharing of knowledge and a realisation that a collaborate effort is required.

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    ABSTRACT: Several attempts have been made to develop strategies for an effective control of workplace hazards. This paper will focus on the results of a European project called Solbase, which is a databank for solutions to occupational hazards and risks. The Safety Science Group of Delft University of Technology in collaboration with TNO Work and Organisation (formerly NIA-TNO) designed Solbase in a series of projects funded by the Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and the European Commission. It consists of the design of and software for a databank with an intelligent navigation system allowing users two principal entry points, which correspond to two basic types of solutions. The first entry point is based on the production process, subdivided into the production principle and production function. This entry point provides the dissemination of solutions within and between branches of industry. The second entry point includes the hazard and its emission and transmission as an access point for more conventional occupational hygiene control measures. With the partners of the consortium, from Spain, Italy, Ireland, Germany, the UK and The Netherlands, 535 new and existing solutions throughout Europe and the world were gathered to test the software and the solutions during a field study. Despite the relatively small number of 'test solutions' used, 54% of the search actions in the field study resulted in a useful and suitable solution which the company could actually put into practice. The companies characterized the software as very user friendly. The reproducibility of the coding system for solutions, the classification tree, was satisfactory. Most coders chose the same keywords from the classification tree to describe a corresponding solution. Solbase is a good searching machine for workplace solutions. Especially, the classification of production processes is an inherent guarantee of an exchange of information across the borders of a specific company or branch of industry.
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