With the rise of new technologies, online learning has become very popular in recent years, using new interactive tools for teaching various subjects. In line with this trend, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) first met in summer 2012 to discuss the idea of developing an online training course for anyone wishing to improve their knowledge of industrial accidents. After six months of hard work, an English version of the online training course has now been launched, with the French and Russian versions due by the end of February.
The online platform is designed as a three-hour self-taught training course that should help trainees to acquire basic knowledge of industrial accidents in order to better prevent, prepare for and respond to them. The online training provides an overview of the terminology, actors, responsibilities, international frameworks and tools in this sector, as well as giving examples of major accidents. The information is illustrated by pictures, videos and examples of past accidents. The trainees can also test and deepen their knowledge in various interactive quizzes and real-life case studies throughout the course. There is also the possibility to receive a certificate of successful completion at the end of the training.
The online training course is recommended for anyone wanting to learn more about industrial accidents and the different ways to prevent, prepare for and respond to them. It starts from the premise that it will be used by government employees and policymakers, industrial owners and operators, emergency responders and members of the public. At the beginning, the trainees will have the chance to choose a character from one of these sectors and — as a man or woman — to enter a scenario that will guide them through an industrial accident. While the introductory scenario is specific for each character, the subsequent sections cover the same information for everybody.
Support of UNECE activities
For UNECE, the development of the online training is of great value as a support to Parties to the UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents, but also in raising awareness and building capacity in other countries wishing to strengthen industrial safety in preparation for the implementation of the Convention. Several important aspects from the Convention have been incorporated into the online training course, as well as key guidelines and methodologies. A CD version of the training course has been developed to allow its use by those countries with limited access to the Internet. The CD version will be available shortly in English, French and Russian.
The online training, “Introduction to Industrial Accidents”, was developed by UNECE in partnership with the Joint UNEP/OCHA Environment Unit and the UNEP Division of Technology, Industry and Economics. The English version of the online training can be found at the following link: http://www.unece.org/env/teia/pubs/onlinetraining2013
Notes to editors
The 1992 UNECE Convention on the Transboundary Effects of Industrial Accidents is designed to protect people and the environment against industrial accidents. The Convention aims at preventing accidents from occurring, reducing their frequency and severity and mitigating their effects if they do occur. To date, there are 40 Parties to the Convention, which include, besides the European Union and 25 of its 27 member States (Ireland and Malta are not Parties): Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Croatia, Kazakhstan, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, Republic of Moldova, Russian Federation, Serbia, Switzerland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In 2004, the Convention’s Conference of the Parties adopted an Assistance Programme to support the countries from Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia and South-Eastern Europe in implementing the Convention.