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.