European and International networks
For many years now, INRS has worked with European and international networks involved in occupational safety and health issues. This co-operation has enabled all of the divisions of INRS to exchange research and survey results, methodologies, and good practices, and to pool databases.
THE SHEFFIELD GROUP: an informal network of directors of OSH institutes in the western world
Set up in 1988 at the initiative of the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, the Sheffield Group informally brings together the directors of INRS’s main counterpart institutes in the western world once a year. It is chaired by the chief executive of HSL (United Kingdom).
PEROSH: a network of European partners involved in Research on Occupational Safety and Health
INRS is a member of the PEROSH network (Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health) which has brought together the main European occupational safety and health research bodies (12 institutes from 11 countries) since its creation.
This network brings together numerous European counterparts of INRS (BAuA, CIOP, FIOH, HSL, IFA INAIL, INSHT, IST, NRCWE, STAMI, TNO). Its objectives are to improve the co-ordination of the research programmes of the various institutes, to initiate joint projects on subjects of common interest and to improve the extent to which occupational safety and health is taken into consideration in European research programmes.
Research projects are also being developed through PEROSH, and INRS plays an active role in five of them: Exposure to nanomaterials, Toxicity of nanomaterials, Determining the protection factors of respiratory protective devices and Well-being at work, Development and validation of pratical monitoring and assessment tool for injury prevention at workplaces.
INRS chaired PEROSH for four years (2011-2014) and hosted the PEROSH secretariat for two years (2013-2014). In 2012, a document presenting the seven major challenges for occupational safety and health for the period leading up to 2020 was compiled based on contributions from each member institute.
EUROSHNET: a network for cooperation between European OSH professionals involved in standardisation, testing, certification, and/or related research
INRS participates in numerous standardisation committees at the European and international level. Since the implementation of the European Single Market and then of the European Community’s New Approach to harmonisation and standardisation, standardisation has been an essential lever in incorporating safety at the design stage for products. More than 50 experts participate actively in standardisation work. In 2001, INRS, together with European partners, initiated the founding of Euroshnet, a European network enabling occupational safety and health specialists who are involved in standardisation, testing and certification to have a forum for exchange in order to develop common positions. Today, the network has proved itself to be effective: about twenty countries and over 440 safety and health specialists use it.
The Special Commission on Prevention of the International Social Security Association (ISSA): a network of international partners involved in the prevention of occupational risks
Activities for preventing occupational accidents and diseases have always been given high priority in the overall policy of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). The Special Commission on Prevention aims to initiate, co-ordinate, and conduct, at the international level, activities to promote the prevention of occupational accidents and diseases. INRS chaired the Special Commission on Prevention from 2000 to 2008. Today, it remains an active member of the Special Commission.
The Special Commission is supported by 13 international technical Sections that make it possible to explore in-depth the key prevention issues. They organise working groups, round-table discussions, and symposia, prepare world congresses, conduct studies and surveys, and publish documents on occupational health and safety. INRS plays an active part in the work of several international Sections: the Research Section (chair and secretariat-general); the Chemistry Section (vice-chair); and the Culture of Prevention Section (vice-chair).
ICOH: a network of experts involved in occupational health
INRS is a sustaining member of ICOH and with its partners contributes to ICOH action to improve occupational health and safety at the international level. INRS experts take part in some scientific committees and congresses held by ICOH.