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IS OSH * FORECASTING POSSIBLE ?. by J.C. ANDRÉ INRS Scientific Directorate France IPTS – Seville – Spain * Occupational Safety and Health at work. Summary

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is osh forecasting possible

IS OSH* FORECASTING POSSIBLE ?

by J.C. ANDRÉINRS Scientific Directorate

France

IPTS – Seville – Spain

* Occupational Safety and Health at work

slide2

Summary

Efficient prevention technologies are few and far between, and rarely infallible. Account taken of this context, the question that arises, if total resignation is excluded, is one seeking solutions, ways of sharing and mutualisation and, in short, finding ways forward that allow a degree of confidence to be restored between all the actors of work.

In this respect, we need to anticipate more and more on the ways of preservating health and safety of workers : this demand linked to the mission of OSH institutes leads to the development of forecasting activities in order to "think the future" or to project the long term into the present, the rule being to imagine "all" the hypotheses.

slide3

Several groups at EU level are involved in this general activity ( French National expertises, PEROSH members, Topic Centre "Risk Observatory" acting for the Bilbao Agency,....).The aims of such projects are encouraging initiative ahead of its time, a carrier of collective changes at work accepted (able) by the social body. This means making the experiment "visible", routing them in professional practices and recreating the vision that they carry.

First results will be presented linked to the analysis of "heavy trends" which can modify the workers environment and which lead to a more holistic approach of the OSH system. But, the author will also present some constraints induced by the nature of the methodology in use ( to a critical retrospective of the prospective !), interdisciplinary and quality of the expertises, weakness of the connections with innovators, return to practices and the work reality,....

slide4

Prevention participates in a myth, in a pool of sense

and traditional values that have determined a set of

practices and social values… And tomorrow ?

slide5

ROLE OF OSH INSTITUTES

OSH is a representation field of science and technology

used through non excitemental ways, non excluding pro-

cesses, emotional for its trusty return to the world of

work for improving working conditions.

Use of scientific knowledge

Collective approaches

OSH Institutes are ETHICAL organizations : association

between knowledge and society leading to a better well

being at work.

slide6

EFFECTS ON OSH INSTITUTES

  • How to advise stakeholders
  • Responsibility
  • Independence (political choices, private contracts, …)
  • Alert on weak-signals
  • Need for change (avoid dogma…)
  • Complexity
  • Interdependences
  • Anticipation
  • Debattable use of science (Human control, genetics, nanotechnologies, …)
  • Irreversible choices (GMO’s, Nuclear plants, globalisation, …)
  • Time pressure : medias, innovation, employment, financial performance, …)
slide7

How to maintain OSH Institutes legitimacy

  • Independence – « neutrality »
  • How to explore weak signals
  • Prospective, forecasting, anticipation
  • Relationship between science, society at work and OSH
  • New methodologies for exploring long term effects
  • Evaluation
  • Pro-active role in the definition of a more appropriate model for the society at work ?
  • Knowledge of the social, economical, political conditions in order to optimize pro-active actions.
slide8

Any force is able to displace the spherical objet

No potential

Positive potential

Great instability

Large activation energy in order to go ouside the energy trap

Negative potential

Invisibility from outside of any internal actions

Closed system

Different situations forms

slide9

WORRYING TRENDS

  • Appearance of new risks (which were partly masked by other priorities) of a complex nature
  • Fear of the very long term effects
  • Shift from a production society to a leisure and / or information society / knowledge society
  • Growing individualism
  • Change to the relationship with work
  • Social acceptance of risks
  • Change of time scales (from centuries to months…)
  • Complexity
  • Confidence
  • Ageing
new technologies
NEW TECHNOLOGIES
  • Transversal (information technology present everywhere).
  • Combinational (e.g.: information technology useless in its present state in a device).
  • Contagious (irrigation of neighbouring technologies).

Local innovations

and

brake on major changes

Large technological ruptures

slide11

PREVENTION

Causal system

Retroactive loop system

Recursive system (e.g. ESB, etc.)

PROBLEM OF TIME BASES / SCHEDULES TO RETAIN THE CONFIDENCE OF THE PARTNERS OF ENTERPRISES

ANTICIPATION SO AS TO REDUCE THE GAPS BETWEEN THE COMPLEX ASPIRATIONS OF SOCIETY AND THE EVOLUTION OF THE FIRM

slide12

Media coverage

  • number of new stories
  • durations
  • half-life of coverage
  • Societal impact
  • socio-economic
  • politic
  • employment
  • citizen
  • Physical consequences
  • human
  • environment
  • place (EU, other,…)
  • magnitude of the damage
  • Physical consequences
  • Individual
  • follow-up desired
  • political involvement
  • intended actions
  • Social
  • group mobilization
  • Risk perception
  • dread
  • managerial incompetence
  • future risk
  • blame

Social amplification of risks

slide14

Confined / protected research

Translation 

WORLD

Translation 

Laboratory

Researcher

Single

« manipulable »

Subjects causality

The feedback ? 

Laboratisation of the World ?

Different steps of translation viewed by the researcher (direct sense)

slide19

Topic Center « Risk observatory »

      • Methodology
      • Start 2007 ?
  • PEROSH
      • Emerging issues ; under progress
  • National level (EU Level) ; under progress
      • nano technologies
      • ICT
      • working conditions changes (F)
slide20

General OSH forecasting methodology

Search for the key

variables

Group project

Selection of the principal key

Variables - themes

Seminar

+ report

Regulation

Factual data

1

2

n

Emerging risks

Benchmarking

……….

Appraisal

Report

Group project

Report

Scenarios

Political choices

(outside forecasting project)

slide21

FIVE STATEMENTS

The facts

Increase complexity of the world of work

1

Better knowledge of social perception of risks

2

Overlapping of fields of interest : work / environment / public health

3

Consequences

Paradigm of action breakdown

- from causal to heuristic

- interdisciplinarity

- from mastering of risks to precautionary principle

- importance of regulations in the future (from regulation to advice) ?

4

Increase of anticipation

- « sentinel » network : emerging risks

- prevention at the conception stage

- networking

- better association with the world of work

5

slide22

ANTICIPATION

QUESTIONS WHICH HAVE TO BE SOLVED

What form of work will emerge in the future ?

What form of prevention ?

How is the gap between the community and the individual to be narrowed ?

What are the effects of social alienation on occupational risks ?

Long-term effects on health induced by new technologies .

Complexity and multifactoriality ?

How is information which is both easily perceived and informative to be delivered ?

How can confidence in the partners involved in a company be re-established ?

Etc...

slide23

« Knowledge of the real is a light that always shines somewhere in the shadows »

G. BACHELARD