The European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO) brings together health and safety professional organisations from the current EU member states, new member states, applicant countries, and other European countries.
In the experience of the majority of OSH practitioners within Europe, the discipline of occupational safety and health is seen as a stand-alone area with no active co-ordination between OSH practitioners at either a national or European level. This inevitably leads to a lack of influence being wielded with regards to the decisions being taken by social partners and governments.
In order to address some of these issues, the idea of bringing together occupational safety and health practitioner organisations across Europe was seen as a means of providing a collective voice, and the mechanism for doing this was achieved by creating the European Network of Safety and Health Professional Organisations (ENSHPO).
The main objectives of ENSHPO are to ensure participation from all of the practitioner organisations across Europe, including current Member States, new Member States, applicant countries and other European countries. As the Network represents the views, opinions and concerns of this extensive group of OSH practitioners, it is able to operate as a dialogue partner with relevant national and international authorities, as well as co-operating with other organisations, institutions, and federations within Europe and beyond.
Primarily however, ENSHPO acts as a forum where practitioners can exchange information, experiences and good practice on a wide variety of pertinent topics. Another objective of the Network is to develop a European-wide recognition of OSH practitioner qualifications and training.
In order for the Network to succeed, a pro-active national network needs to be in place in each of the European countries, which will both complement and enhance the work of the European network. To fully explain the role of the national network, the national forum supports and stimulates the exchange of information and experience within a particular country, and ensures that its members are actively involved in policy development. In order to enhance the development of practitioners within a particular country the national network will also facilitate the collection and dissemination of good practice.
ENSHPO is an exciting development and constitutes a forum which has up until now been lacking in the European arena, and which will give a voice to OSH practitioners throughout the whole of Europe.