Pilot Sector Online Tool for Risk Assessment in the Leather and Tanning industry successfully launched
In a joint project of the social partners of the European Leather Industry, the former ETUF/TCL now industryAll and COTANCE have developed an “Online Risk Assessment Tool” on Safety and Health at Work for small and medium sized tanneries. It is focussed to assist them on prevention and management of risks for tannery workers, facilitate the setting of a company strategy in this field and avoid possible adverse effects of restructuring in the sector.
Leather and Tanning is a potentially high risk sector dealing with heavy machines and various chemicals. Wrong handling of machines and chemicals can cause severe injuries or otherwise cause damage to the human body at the workplace. An improper working environment can as well result in an increase of sick leave and ultimately lower motivation and commitment of workers with an adverse impact on competitiveness.
The tool is meant as a reference to give valuable information and suggestions to perform a risk assessment for individual tanneries in order to minimize and eliminate health and safety risks. Implementation of the tool does however not necessarily ensure legal compliance with the national health and safety regulations. This is to be ascertained with the domestic health and safety authorities. The tool is intended to raise awareness for health and safety issues in the tannery and give examples for good practice.
The software of the online tool has been provided by the European Agency on Health and Safety (EU-OSHA) in Bilbao, which also allocated comprehensive assistance in the technical implementation of the tool as well as on general aspects of health and safety.
The project could not have been implemented without the great assistance and feedback given by the project partners of the project, that is the national organizations of the trade unions and employers organisations of the European Leather Industry.
The tool covers all major areas in a tannery, amongst them:
- OSH Management
- Inhouse Transport
- Emergency Management
- Working with Raw Hides and Skins
- Use of Machines
- Use of Chemicals
- Office workplaces
Users of the tool are guided through the different steps from evaluation of potential risks to an action plan with solutions and measures and a final report.
Launch of the first European Sector Council on Education Training & Employment
in the Textile Clothing and Leather
On 6th December 2011 in Brussels was launched the first European Sectoral Council on Education Training & Employment in front of International and European Representatives.
• A first sectoral initiative fully in line with the Europe 2020 strategy to bridge the SKILLS gaps and to create more and better jobs in Textile Clothing and Leather industries throughout the EU
• High level of involvement: a network steered by the EU Social partners and covering more than 27 countries and with more than 400 entities involved
COTANCE, partner of the CELAN project
The CELAN project, co-funded by the Lifelong Learning Programme of the European Commission, started officially on 1 January 2011, with a duration of 24 months. The project’s principal objective is to facilitate a dialogue in the language field between the business community and language practitioners. The project activities include:
Research on linguistic needs of European companies/SMEs in different sectors
Analysis of existing language-related services and tools
Development of on-line applications to support the language needs of business users
A strong and broad consortium - all members of the Business Platform for Multilingualism or linked to a member - will engage in dissemination and awareness raising activities to guarantee a Europe-wide reach-out.
CELAN is the result of a long development of language policies at EU level. Its direct origin is the Business Platform for Multilingualism, initiated in September 2009 by DG Education and Culture. Stakeholders in business - industry representatives, companies, associations, trade unions, language industry representatives etc. - discussed the need for an enhanced awareness of the importance of languages in business. From these discussions stems the core idea of CELAN: create a network that provides language services to business stakeholders.
On Friday, 11 February, the CELAN project was launched, with the participation of 18 partner representatives. The Work Package leaders presented the objectives and activities, and all the partners collaborated in drafting a first implementation plan with concrete time lines and milestones to be reached.
Mr Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General of COTANCE, is leader of Work Package I in which business needs will be determined. He is also the Vice-Chairman of the Business Platform for Multilingualism.
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COTANCE and ETUF:TCL kick off an ambitious joint project on transparency of the origin of hides & skins and traceability of raw materials for European tanners
The European Social Partners of the Leather industry, COTANCE and ETUF:TCL, represented by their respective chief executives, Mr. Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano and Mr. Luc Triangle, met on Wednesday 6 July 2011 in Brussels in order to kick off their EU sponsored project on Traceability. This initiative aims at collecting relevant intelligence on the issues regarding the traceability of tanners’ raw materials and identifying the means for a greater transparency in the trade on the origin of hides and skins.
Hides and skins, the raw materials for the production of leather, are a by-product of animals slaughtered for their meat. Before they reach the tannery, they have a history of their own; they protect the animals during their lifetime, they are removed either by manual or mechanical means, they are preserved, stored and shipped. The conditions under which hides and skins are obtained escape, however, Tanners’ control, notably when these are imported into the EU from distant places, but social and environmental mismanagement in the area of their raw materials affects adversely the tanning sector’s image. European tanners, their customers and consumers are increasingly sensitive to issues regarding Socially and Environmentally responsible procurement and Animal Welfare. Better governance could eventually improve the current situation where tanners individually do not always have the means to identify the origin and history of raw materials, and this could minimise risks or negative impacts on business and employment in the leather sector.
The Social Partners of the European Leather Industry intend in a first step:
- identifying the issue regarding the adverse impact on the sector, its operators and workforce when tanning is accused of social, environmental or animal welfare mismanagement,
- assessing the awareness of the sector on these matters, and
- focusing on technical instruments that record facts on the origin and conditions of hides & skins in order to allow the sector’s companies to respond pro-actively to adverse situations.
The project will be managed by COTANCE in full cooperation with ETUF:TCL. National Social Partners will be involved in 13 countries (DE, GR, ES, FR, IT, NL, PT, SE, UK, LT, BG, RO and PO) engaging in a “Desk Research” on the subject matter. Two different but complementary aspects will be scrutinised:
a) “Political”: publicity news in the media, assessment on the impacts on the sector, assessment of advantages gained through a traceability/transparency system;
b) “Technical”: methods for tracing hides & skins would be assessed
At the end of this one-year project, the Social Partners of the European Leather Industry will provide the sector’s operators with a joint recommendation for further action after having assessed the various possible options available and evaluated in Social Dialogue those most suitable for the industry.
Brussels, 15 July 2011
E-shoe learning is a project, which was successfuly completed under Leonardo da Vinci program and led by Industrial development centre for leather and footwear industry of Slovenia - ZAVOD IRCUO. Its partners included GERIC Member CTIC, the Portuguese leather technology centre.
The project contributes to the development and share of knowledge related to footwear development and manufacturing. There is no secondary or tertiary footwear education level in Slovenia, but there are still quite many small, medium and big size companies, which need educated workers to produce and sell quality products.
This is why E-shoe learning project provided three basic tools to support the development and share of knowledge:
- new footwear handbook with contemporary issues,
- seminars on footwear development and manufacturing,
- central web page dedicated to offer basic and advanced knowledge, knowledge share tools (forum) and knowledge check features to instantly check the level of knowledge on specific area.
Please read: comments on the results of the project
For more information, visit the E-Shoe Learning web site.