21st Annual Meeting of the Baltic Sea Network on Occupational Health and Safety

Introduction of participants by country

Digitalization, costs of ill-health at work and the registration of work injuries were the main topics of the 21st Annual Meeting of the Baltic Sea Network on Occupational Health and Safety. The results of two surveys on under-reporting of work injuries were presented at the meeting. In some of the ten BSN countries, only 10–20% of non-fatal work injuries are reported. There are significant differences between the reporting systems of the work injuries of the BSN countries. Finland and Germany have the most effective reporting systems, as their systems depend on private insurance.

The new Director General of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Dr. Antti Koivula, presented technical revolution scenarios that will change work life fundamentally in the coming years. He encouraged the audience to think how work life can be further developed and to study the possibilities that ICT presents more deeply.

“Socio-technical changes are breaking down barriers. Technology is again about to revolutionize work, as it has done before. We cannot stop the tech-train, but there will be many ethical issues to consider.” Koivula said.

The participants had a tour in the new premises of the Tallinn Technical University.

Other topics of the meeting dealt with Estonian country profile of its occupational health system, the role of occupational health services in Estonia, and a pilot study on health promotion activities in Finland. In addition, a newly-signed Memorandum of Understanding between the BSN and the South-East European Network on Workers’ Health (SEENWH) was presented.

The meeting gathered 40 participants at the Tallinn Technical University, Estonia, on 15–16 September 2015. In addition to the country members, there were representatives from WHO-EURO, ILO, EU-OSHA, IALI and ICOH. These international organizations presented their current activities in occupational health and safety. The new BSN-website was introduced to the participants.

The Programme of the meeting, List of Participants and presentation slides available are down below. The Summary Report of the 21st Annual Meeting will be available soon.

Ivars Vanadzins (Latvia) and Carsten Brück (Germany) changing ideas at the coffee break.
Ivars Vanadzins (Latvia) and Carsten Brück (Germany) at the coffee break.