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ISSUE 64 page 8

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Sites of Interest


 Web sites mentioned on this page are available at:
 Napo – Safety with a smile
 ‘Paldies latiņam’ (Thank you, little lats)
 EU consultation on open public sector information
 Chapter download for TUC ‘Hazards at Work’
Commission wants to know: should public data be free?

‘Hazards at Work’ goes digital

OPEN DATA HAS BECOME A HOT ISSUE in many European countries. The provision of free, transparent information by IT companies has already inspired ‘open source’ applications such as the many models of mobile ‘phone based on Google’s Android operating system. But should public authorities whose information gathering is, after all, funded by you and me, open up their data to everyone? Following a strong campaign in the U.K. the British government has published a white paper called ‘Unleashing the potential’ and has just opened up unpublished datasets including birth, deaths and marriages, and crab tagging in the English Channel. The European Commission wants to follow suit but is interested to hear how individuals and businesses think that data such as that on weather, traffic and research as well as statistics and digitised books can best be ‘unleashed’. It says that the economic benefits could reach €40 billion annually. The revised Public Sector Information directive calls on Member States to be consistent in the kind of datasets that are released and the licences and charges that are applied.

THE BEST-SELLING TUC BOOK ON hazards at work is now available as a digital book. ‘Hazards at Work: Organising for safe and healthy workplaces’ includes chapters on how to organise, laws and enforcement, prevention and compensation as well as a rundown of all likely workplace hazards from asbestos to upper limb disorders. Individual chapters will still be available free from the TUC web site but the e-book should allow functions such as magnification of the text. The download costs £11.99 and will be available for Macs and PCs, the iPad and iPhone as well as other tablets and Android-based mobiles and e-readers such as the Kindle, Kobo, Nook etc. It can be bought from the Apple, Kobo, Waterstones or Barnes & Noble stores


YouTube ode to a bank note highlights Latvian euro worries
LATVIA IS SET TO INTRODUCE THE EURO as its currency in the New Year and shopkeepers are already supposed to show prices in the EU unit as well as the native Lats. However opposition to the change has been stimulated by the apparent rise in prices. For example as one lats is worth €1.42, a ride on a Riga bus has gone from 5 lati to €7.10. While the business community hopes for benefits from inward investment and lower interest rates, a German/British duo known as ‘The foreigners’ have posted a song of praise for the ‘little lats’ on YouTube which ends with the refrain ‘Lat it be’. It has received over 100,000 views.  2Lati
 Napo introduces ‘Safety with a smile  
 HOW DO YOU PUBLICISE HEALTH AND SAFETY to an audience in 28 different countries who speak many different languages and work in industries as diverse as chemicals and IT? The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) thought that  the film-makers at Via Storia in Strasbourg might have an idea as they had already produced a series of cartoons for a consortium of safety authorities from EU Member States. They featured Napo, a character described as ‘a normal person - neither good nor bad, neither young nor old ... a willing worker who can ... identify hazards or risks’. Now Napo is starring in several series of short films designed to draw attention to such topics as ‘slips and trips’, ‘tobacco smoke’, ‘Safe maintenance’ and ‘Protect your skin!’, some co-ordinated with the EU-OSHA health and safety weeks. Our blue hero, who converses only in wordless language, is joined by a boss figure, co-workers, animals and talking objects.  NAPO

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