The European Agency for Safety and Health shares its open source software
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is one of the Community Agencies of the European Union and is located in Bilbao, Spain. Its central role is to contribute to the improvement of working life in an enlarged European Union by developing, analysing and disseminating information on occupational safety and health (OSH). EU-OSHA disseminates information and collaborates with its network through a Plone-base CMS which is now shared being shared to anyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages.
About the EU-OSHA CMS
EU-OSHA has a network made up of Focal points (normally the national OSH authorities representing EU-OSHA) in all EU Member States, Candidate and EFTA countries.
The CMS of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, based on the open source project Plone, was created to manage and facilitate the work of a network of partners, and external editors, geographically located all around Europe and beyond.The Agency has released this application under the GPL.
EU-OSHA CMS features include following facilities: publications management, calls for tender, job vacancy, seminars, metatagging, and multiple language management using XLIFF. The OSHA-CMS is at disposal of everyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages and in which content is published and edited by users of a large decentralised network.
The EU-OSHA CMS stores and distributes information in a variety of ways (RSS, alerts, e-newsletter, ...). Based on the metadata entered for each piece of information, it makes the creation of sections for specific topics, a really easy task. All you need is to define the suitable keywords for that topic, and define the display of the results.
Its integrated workflow allows an easy management of the work. One editor adds a new entry; a reviewer checks that it is ok, and a manager decides if it is publishable or not. A work list allows each component of the workflow, to check his entries, or the ones he is responsible for.
This CMS solution integrates a hierarchical thesaurus of OSH terms, translated in 22 languages, which covers the most important topics on Occupational Safety and Health. However, if this is not your organisation's field, you can change it by any other Thesaurus.
EU-OSHA CMS features include:
- The publications product, to publish PDF publications, with thumbnail auto generated, possibility to add chapters, ISBN number, and others, as well as metadata;
- The calls for tender facility, where you can easily add 22 language versions of the main notifications for a tender (contract notice, award, amendments, FAQs, corrigendums, etc.;
- The Public Job Vacancy facility, where you can easily add 22 language versions of job openings.
(soon available), to add all the documentation for any event, as well
as speeches and speakers information, presentations, pictures, videos,
etc., all tagged, and classified by topic or sector.
Policy Context and Legal Framework
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, EU-OSHA, is one of the Community Agencies of the EU. We are an information Agency, which central mission is to make EU workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. Set up in 1996 by the European Union and located in Bilbao, Spain, EU-OSHA is the main EU reference point for safety and health at work.
- We work with governments, employers and workers to promote a risk prevention culture.
- We analyse new scientific research and statistics on workplace risks.
- We anticipate new and emerging risks.
identify and share information, good practice and advice with a wide
range of audiences, such as social partners - employers' federations
and trade unions.
Implementation and Management Approach
EU-OSHA has a web team of 4 people, taking care of the overall management, and managing an external contractor responsible for all the developments.
The Agency has a network of experts, who add contents directly on the website, supervised by Agency staff. Experts create their own contents as well.
We are hosting more than 30 national websites, each of them managed by an external webmaster, who manages the configuration and permissions on his site.
In order to manage all the different users and groups, there is a workflow policy, where only the managers (mainly Agency staff) can publish the contents, while they are added and reviewed by the external experts.
We have, as well, a language policy, which basically states that all the general information is translated into the official EU languages, whereas the more expert focused, technical information is kept in English only. To be able to cope with this, we use a tailored XLIFF tool, which allows us to export pieces of text, which can be worked in the Translation Centre, and then, imported again onto the system, just by pressing a button.
The main factor to make this all work is the cooperation between the
different teams (Web, IT and OSH experts). Each project is defined in
advance, so different solutions are proposed, and the best one chosen.
As all the teams are involved, we make sure that it fits the users
needs, the web standards, and that it will not crash the
system, once online.
Our system uses Zope and Plone (both open source software), as basis. Above them, we have been customising some default features, as well as adding new ones, in order to deal with our needs. This has lead to a much powerful platform, fully open, and ready to use.
The pages are WAI AA compliant, by default.
We have incorporated our own thesaurus with safety and health terms, to categorise the information properly. The good thing is that anyone could add their own keywords as needed.
The main results are that computer non literate users can add information onto the system in an organised way, and this fact, has increased the quantity and quality of the information we offer, increasing as well the amount of visits to the website, on a constant basis.
The Results of the last Agency Information users’ survey run in 2007
show an average level of satisfaction of 3.5 out of 5. The Agency CMS
was awarded the International Industry Award, category Innovation in
content management in 2005.
Track record of sharing
EU-OSHA Content Manager System is released, updated and documented by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. It targets everyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages and in which content is published and edited by users of a large decentralised network.
All the relevant technical information is available on our software website. We are offering there all the documentation, and the possibility to download the complete system, or just the products we have developed ourselves. Feel free to share your impressions and comments.
- Cope with the needs of a large decentralised network. Geographically located all around the world. Some maintaining their own websites, in our system, which means different levels of knowledge, access, and capabilities, for each of them.
- Enhance the use of meta information to categorise the information and make it findable and user tailored (by topic, by sector, by target group, etc.).
- Manage multiple language versions in a manageable way, for a large amount of information, using XLIFF. This allows us to export and import pieces of text to be sent to the Translation Centre of the Commission.