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Guidelines for the Establishment and Strengthening Of National Safety, Health and Environmental Institutions across the Caribbean Region

This guide was written for the government departments within the Caribbean nations to aid them to establish and strengthen their national health, safety and environmental centres. Support was given by ILO SafeWork to aid these nations in the
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    Foreword i Table of Contents ii Introduction 1 Chapter 1: Information and the roles of ILO/CIS Geneva and the National and Collaborating Centres 3 1.1 What is OSH Information? 3 1.2 Who needs this information? 3 1.3 Authoritative and validated information 4 1.4 The roles of the ILO/CIS and its activities 4 1.5 The reason for establishing CIS National and Collaborating Centres 5 1.6 ILO-CIS Services 5 Chapter 2: ILO-CIS Worldwide Network 7 2.1 National Centres and Collaborating Centres 7 2.2 Services offered by ILO-CIS HQ to National and Collaborating Centres 7 2.3 Services offered by National and Collaborating Centres 7 Chapter 3: How to become a National Centre? 9 3.1 The First Steps 9 3.2 The role and function of a National Centre 9 3.3 Policy Statement for a National Centre 9 Chapter 4: Starting a National Centre 12 4.1 The next steps 12 4.2 Financial management 13 4.3 Establishing the Information 15 4.4 Premises and furniture 15 4.5 Office equipment 16 4.6 National Centre staff 19 4.7 Training of information staff 20 4.8 Monthly reports to management 21 Chapter 5: Networking and Locating Sources of Safety and Health Information 22   5.1 Networking 22 5.2 How to locate OSH information sources within a country 23 5.3 International and National information sources 25 5.4 Library-based Information sources 26 5.5 Computer based information sources 27 Chapter 6: Services Provided by a National Centre 31 6.1 Acquisitions 31 6.2 Organizing Information 31 6.3 Indexes and indexing 32 6.4 Abstracts and abstracting 33 6.5 How to build a national database 34 6.6 Enquiry services 34 6.7 Reference collection 36 6.8 Dissemination of information internally 38 6.9 Dissemination of information externally 38    Chapter 7: Promotion of a National Centre 37 7.1 Advertising 37 7.2 Promotion through Press Releases 38 7.3 Writing articles 39 7.4 Organizing visits to the National Centre 39 7.5 Participating in Conferences/Seminars/Exhibitions 39 7.6 Publications 39 7.7 Publicity package 41 7.8 Union list of journals 41 7.9 The National Centre Newsletter 43 7.10 Organizing seminars/training courses 44 7.11 Training by use of videos 45 7.12 Public speaking 45 Annexes  Annex 1 Information to be provided by CIS National and Collaborating Centres 47  Annex 2 Expected Service Responses by a typical Information Centre 49  Annex 3 List of basic reference books and periodicals 50  Annex 4 Example of a National Centre Newsletter 61  Annex 5 Examples of Technical and Chemical Info-sheets 62  Annex 6 Establishment set up for new National Centres 63  Annex 7 Software, Online Searching, Host Services, CD-ROM products 67  Annex 8 List of occupation safety and health databases and CD-ROMS 74  Annex 9 Example of a press release 90  Annex 10 Sample letter of exchange agreements 91  Annex 11 Outline programme for training courses and categories for potential users 92  Annex 12 How to organise seminars/training courses 94  Annex 13 Training using videos 97  Annex 14 Examples of National Centres’ Brochures  99    INTRODUCTION The purpose of the guideline The purpose of the guideline is to provide basic instructions for the establishment of CIS National Centres (NC’s) within the Caribbean region, with the aim of helping new and planned centres to establish an information unit and to publicise the services available. It is recognised that procedures will need to be adapted for local conditions based on socio-economic factors and variances such as languages and literacy rates. It will be necessary to avoid discouraging new centres, for instance, by introducing a multitude of new tasks and sophisticated equipment, which will require the development of new skills and training. Rather it would be better to encourage centres to take on a limited amount of new work initially and to increase the range of work as confidence and ability develop. Ideally as each ILO-CIS National Centre develops, it should be able to: ▪   Service all the National Centre’s parent organisation information requirements, and all the various disciples involved by ensuring that information held is continuously updated, using internal, national and international sources  And support any training programmes: ▪  By keeping National Centre staff up to remain informed ▪  Ensuring that publications are supplied for courses mounted by the NC staff ▪  Ensuring that necessary films, videos and slides are available for training programmes ▪  To give lectures on the importance of information ▪  To collect occupational health and safety statistics in conjunction with any other government or department’s statistic s (and possibly publish the results annually) ▪  To establish an exchange of information agreement with organisations in the National Centre’s country. This will probably need some impetus from a high level (or elsewhere) to ensure an integrated and co-ordinated approach to the development of the National Centre information service ▪  To establish international connections for exchanging occupational health and safety information, and possible organizing “twinning arrangements”   ▪  To keep up to date with worldwide developments in IT and as appropriate introduce these developments into the National Centre information service. This will include the wider application of office machinery e.g. computers, microfiche and CD-ROM readers ▪  Act as a publications unit - this could include press relations and publicity activities ▪  To create and maintain databases containing references to ongoing occupational health and safety research and to specialists working in the country ▪  To publish occupational health and safety literature ▪  To collect together any internal reports written by staff (including training courses) ▪  To be responsible for an exhibition area in the building housing the National Centre to attract the attention of visitors to any ILO-CIS or locally produced documents on occupational health and safety, and ▪  To establish a panel of linguistic/technical specialists within the country who will help with the translation of foreign language material    CHAPTER 1: INFORMATION AND THE ROLES OF ILO-CIS GENEVA AND THE NATIONAL AND COLLABORATING CENTRE 1.1 What is Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Information? OSH information will be included in, or available from:   Legislation   Approved Codes of Practice   Research results   Journals and newsletters   Films and videos   Guidance and advice   Encyclopaedias and handbooks   Datasheets   Books, reports etc   Standard specifications   Translations   Microfiche documents   Computer databases and databanks   CD Rooms   Floppy discs (less common)   Software programs   Training organisations and courses   Organisations including insurance companies, associations and federations OSH information is in a fast-moving area which is constantly being updated and has no country language boundaries Therefore, anyone working in any industry or in a commercial enterprise needs to be aware that today’s required information probably already exists somewhere in the world and is continually being updated. Some of the impetus to update the information base comes from the constant development of legislation, particularly in technologically advanced countries, where new industries, production systems, machines and new chemicals are constantly being introduced. Alongside this, novel, and sometimes exciting new ways of presenting information to the user are also being developed. 1.2 Who needs this information? There is a growing awareness of occupational safety and health matters because there is an increased knowledge of possible effects on the health of the workforce from industrial processes. Wherever their working environment may be - in the air, at sea, in transport, factories, offices, workshops, farms, mines, quarries, educational establishments, retail, hotel, catering trades, construction or engineering the workers and their employers need to know the latest developments surrounding their industry. There is also today an increasing general interest in all things to do with personal health and effects on the environment. Many people, if not everyone, needs information at times regarding their own working conditions. With the introduction of legislation, a wide spectrum of people will need OSH information. ▪  Inspectors ▪  Doctors and nurses ▪  Engineers from all disciplines ▪  Chemists and biochemists ▪  Lawyers and administrators ▪  Scientists and technicians ▪  Consultants and specialists ▪  Educators ▪  Health & Safety representatives
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