Steinbeis involvement in activities related to and relevant for industrial safety has been increasing steadily in the last years both for industry and public sector. The Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies stands in the centre of this development and brings together the European and national stakeholders, promotes technology transfer, introduces new approaches to risk management, and manages and coordinates major European and industrial projects.
According to European statistics, there were 7.6 million industrial accidents in the EU states in 2001. Out of these, 4.9 million accidents resulted in absence from work for more than 3 days and 4,900 of them had a fatal outcome. In other words every five seconds a European worker is victim of an accident at work and every two hours a fatality at work occurs. The industrial sectors mostly affected by these problems are the process industry, energy, transport and construction.
In order to deal with the problem, the European Union has laid down a series of goals for future research and development activities based on the collaboration and cooperation. At the Lisbon summit in 2000, the EU set the goal of becoming the most dynamic and competitive knowledge based economy by 2010. The Gothenburg 2001 summit laid an emphasis on long-term development and resulting issues affecting the environment, health and the economy. The two goals directly entail that industrial safety is a prerequisite for improved productivity and competitiveness. Every interruption in the production or transport chain has negative implications for the EU economic system and the national economies which are getting increasingly interlinked. Therefore, a uniform approach to safety across all European countries is needed and it has to be widely accepted in and coherently applied across all sectors of industry.
This is still the vision yet to be realized, but the first steps on the way of its realization are already made. One of the most important among them is the creation of the European Technology Platform Industrial Safety (ETPIS: www.industrialsafety-tp.org) which nowadays coordinates the interests and activities of its more than 350 members from all key stakeholder groups. Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies actively supports and leads some of the ETPIS projects, in particular in the area of emerging risks. An outcome of these activities has resulted in the involvement of ETPIS in the drafting of the FP7 calls for the Thematic Priority NMP.
Furthermore, in cooperation with partners from Germany (University of Stuttgart), France (INERIS), Hungary (BZF) and Belgium (Technologica), the Steinbeis Transfer Center for Advanced Risk Technologies has founded the European Economic Interest Grouping EU-VRi (European Virtual Institute of Integrated Risk Management, www.eu-vri.eu).
The main priority and goal of EU-VRi is to ensure that potential technology risks are managed safely, responsibly and transparently. In pursuit of this goal, Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies, as a part of EUVRi, is leading an important initiative within the European “Seventh Framework Programme” (FP7). The initiative named iNTeg- Risk – “Early Recognition, Monitoring and Integrated Management of Emerging, New Technology Related Risks” aims to coordinate research and development activities worth more than 25 million Euros and ensure that safety, environmental friendliness and social responsibility remain the trademark of the “technology made in the EU“.
Steinbeis is following the same strategy in the field of risk management-related services for industry introducing the state-of-theart innovation and technology in industry. For the oil, energy and other industries in countries like Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Serbia, Romania, Malaysia and India, this was the main motivation to invite and use the services of Steinbeis Advanced Risk Technologies in the field of risk-based inspection (RBI), reliability-centered maintenance (RBM) and health-safety-environment (HSE) management, and implement these technologies successfully.