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March 9, 2010

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International- Conference to develop Romanian links

A conference is to be held in Romania in September as IOSH looks to further develop its links with the eastern European country over the next 12 months.

The conference, to be themed ‘Working in partnership for a safer and healthier workplace’, will take place in Bucharest on 23 and 24 September. It follows the development of a close relationship with the Romanian Association for Occupational Health and Safety (ARSSM) and deans at the University of Bucharest during a visit last October. Members of IOSH’s New Accession Countries (NAC) team also met with Mihai Seitan, the First Minister at the Ministry of Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities, who has pledged to help stage the conference.

IOSH has also funded a five-day training course through its Research and Development Fund about risk assessment, work at height, machinery safety and chemical safety risk assessment. This was delivered to labour inspectors and health and safety professionals by IOSH CPD trainer, Geoff Hornby.

Set up to look at promoting supportive relationships with health and safety professionals in new EU member states, the NAC is focusing its work on Romania because of the challenges facing the country following its admission as an EU member in January 2007. At present, there is poor understanding and implementation of EU health and safety requirements, lack of financial resource, poor communication among professionals, and a shortage of qualified health and safety practitioners.

It’s also a country where the NAC has some useful expertise and local knowledge: committee member Paul Popescu is of Romanian origin and he regularly visits the country to organise other national health and safety events. Paul also writes books in Romanian about managing health and safety, effective risk management and migrant workers.

Malcolm McIntyre, chair of the NAC Working Party, said: “With the ever-increasing globalisation of our work, and the EU’s expansion, IOSH wants to open new relationships with health and safety organisations from candidate or new member countries, to share knowledge and best practice in order to raise standards across Europe.”

It’s because of this aim that the NAC has also previously worked with the Malta Occupational Safety and Health Professional Association (MOSHPA) to host a conference on the island last year. It has also hosted a delegation from Bulgaria, and worked with professionals in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Latvia.

To find out more about the work of the NAC please visit: www.iosh.co.uk/international

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