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Frequently Asked Questions about OiRA

What are OiRA’s objectives and what can it achieve?

  1. At European level:
    • To increase the number of micro and small enterprises in Europe assessing and managing their occupational risks
    • To contribute (by proper risk assessment) to reducing the number of occupational accidents and diseases and improving working conditions
    • To help (by proper risk assessment) enterprises to become more competitive (from cutting costs arising from occupation accidents and illness, reducing rates of sick leave etc)
  2. At national/sectoral level:
    • To put practical OiRA tools at the disposal of micro and small organisations through their websites and promote their use
    • To contribute to the national objective of reducing the number of occupational diseases and accidents by putting at the disposal of the enterprises the OiRA tool
  3. At company level:
    • To ensure the health and safety of workers (general duty of employers, enterprises) by applying the OiRA tool at company/at shop floor level thereby putting in place the risk assessment process
    • To demystify the process of risk assessment
    • To improve working conditions by using the tool to assess their occupational risks, thus improving the performance of the companies

Who is OiRA’s target audience?

Agency intermediaries:

  • The 27 EU member states as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein
  • Public Occupational Safety and Health institutions
  • the 40 or so officially recognized sectors of activity at EU social dialogue
  • the social partners at Member State level


Potentially 19.39 million micro and small enterprises in the EU27.

How will the OiRA tools be developed?

EU-OSHA will provide the OiRA tools generator free of charge to agency intermediaries interested in developing their own OiRA tool.

  1. Bottom – up development:
    • Social partners/ Governments/ Public institutions at Member State level develop their tool
    • If Governments/Public institutions want to develop a generic or a sectoral tool, the social partners have to be involved as well
  2. Top-down development:
    • EU social partners from one specific sector develop the “EU sectoral tool” (in English with references to EU legislation)
    • Social partners at Member State level are invited to adapt the tool at national level (language, legislation).

How do we know OiRA will work?

The OiRA tool is based on the successful Dutch Risk Assessment instrument RI&E which now exists in more than 172 sectoral variants each tailor-made to the needs of its particular sector. Thus it is built upon a successful predecessor at national level.

What is the present status of OiRA?

The technical development of the tool was carried out in 2009. From 2010 onwards the Agency has been piloting the project at both EU level (working with some Sectoral Social Dialogue Committees) and at Member State level (with several Member States).

When and where will the OiRA tools be available?

OiRA will be launched in September 2011, once the objectives of the testing phase have been reached. The tool will be accessible via the OiRA site and the websites of member state governments, public institutions and social partners.

How will OiRA be disseminated?

The Agency will promote the OiRA tools/project among its intermediaries by:

  • Providing general information about the OiRA project and how to develop the specific OiRA tools.
  • Presenting the OiRA tool at the Agency’s national Focal Points to promote the tool at Member State level.
  • Presenting OiRA at conferences, seminars, the EU social dialogue plenary meetings, in relevant DGs of the Commission, etc.

It is up to the Agency’s intermediaries to set up their promotion strategy to promote and disseminate their OiRA tools. The Agency will help them to put in place their strategy and will provide:

  • A guide on how to disseminate the tool presenting different strategies illustrated by practical case studies
  • Agency resources to promote the tools once published at Member State level.

How does OiRA help towards the goals of the European Community Strategy for Health and Safety at Work 2007-2012?

The proven efficacy of the tool to improve the safety and health of small workplaces, while at the same time reducing the administrative burden on them, makes it of potential strategic importance. The tool is of particular relevance to meeting the following objectives of the Community OSH strategy:

  • Guaranteeing the proper implementation of EU legislation
  • Supporting SMEs in the implementation of the legislation in force
  • Developing simple tools to facilitate risk assessment

However, realising this potential requires that the tool is adapted to the needs of SMEs working in different sectors and in different countries supported by a diffusion strategy which empowers social partners to promote and support its uptake by small and micro businesses in their specific sectors.

How is end-users' privacy protected?

The OiRA tool is put at a users’ disposal by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), an EU body. Therefore, Regulation (EC) N° 45/2001 directly applies which guarantees that all data has been processed fairly and lawfully, only for limited and explicit purposes and stored in a secure way.

What kind of “personal data” is stored in the tool?

  • Email addresses
  • Names of persons responsible for measures stated in the Action plan – the input of names is voluntary
  • Other names that might be put into the free text fields available for comments

EU-OSHA takes the following measures to protect personal data:

  • Personal data is inaccessible for external users
  • Security measures to protect against unauthorised access
  • Appropriate encryption of communication

How is the tool copyright protected?

All OiRA tools are licensed under the Creative Common license Attribution-ShareAlike.

Creative Commons licenses are several copyright licenses that allow the distribution of copyrighted works. The licenses differ by several combinations that condition the terms of distribution. It offers users the chance to share and adapt work, under a number of specified conditions, including that the work be noncommercial and correctly attributed.

Which software supports the OiRA tool?

OiRA has been developed with free and open-source software that is liberally licensed to grant the right of users to use, study, change, and improve it through the availability of its source code. The distribution terms of open-source software must comply with a number of set criteria.

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