24/05/2013

ICT systems and labour inspection

Tim Tregenza

Information and communications technology makes the modern world go round. Working without mobile communications and the internet is now inconcievable. At the thematic day of the 64th meeting of the Senior Labour Inspectors' Committee (SLIC), the role of ICT systems in labour inspection was under discussion.

The meeting, held in Dublin under the Irish presidency of the European Council on May 21/22 2013, brought together experts from around Europe to share knowledge and experiences. It was opened by Mr Sean Sherlock TD, Minister of State, Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and Department of Education and Skills with responsibility for Research and Innovation and chaired by Ms Maria Teresa Moitinho de Almeida, DG Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion


The meeting focused on the use of technology to prioritise, record, and allocate inspections, with presentations from Mr Juan Ignacio Gomez Mendiguchia (Ministerio de Empleo y Seguridad Social, Spain, Torben Vincentsen (SWEA, Sweden), Henk Spaan, (Netherlands Inspectie SZW) and Anne Therese Schultz (Danish Working Environment Authority). 


Joanne Harmon (HSA, Ireland) also presented E-Portal sites to show how health and safety trainign can delivered online, and Tim Tregenza who presented the EU-OSHA OiRA project.  The meeting also heard from Max Lum (NIOSH) on the use of social media.


The main message that was emerging from the meeting was that labour inspectorates face common problems in ensuring that the right enterprises are covered by inspection while ensuring an effective use of enforcement. The solutions demonstrated during the meeting showed that there is no need to "reinvent the wheel"  and that inspectorates can learn from each other and take forward a range of approaches that ensure compliance with health and safety legislation.