Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (Spanish National Institute for Safety and Hygiene at Work)
INSHT, which belongs to the Ministry of Labour, is the scientific and technical organisation of the State General Administration in the matter of Safety and Health at Work. The management of the INSHT is conducted by the General Council of the INSHT which acts on a tripartite basis and is constituted by the General Director of the INSHT, representatives of the Ministry of Labour and Immigration, Ministry of Health and by the employers and employees' organisations.
The activity of the INSHT is supported by the General Budget of the State. Its technical and human resources allow the institute to develop the necessary tasks to improve working conditions in Spain. These fundamental tasks are as follows: research, provision of technical advice (to companies, social partners and Regional Governments) and information in the field of safety, hygiene, ergonomics, psycho-sociology and medicine at work.
The general functions of INSTH include:
- Provision of technical advice on the drafting of the legal regulations and on achieving standardisation, both at the national and international levels.
- Promotion and implementation of activities such as training, information, research, study and dissemination of occupational risk prevention issues
- Provision of technical support and collaboration with the Labour and Social Security
Inspectorate in carrying out its supervision and control duties
- Collaboration with international bodies and development of international cooperation programmes in this field
- Arranging coordination and promoting the exchange of information and experiences between the various public administrations, focussing on encouraging and supporting activities to promote health and safety
- Providing specialised technical support in certification, testing and endorsement issues
- Acting as a National Centre of Reference in relations with the EU institutions, thus ensuring the coordination and transmission of information at a national level
- Directing the Secretariat of the National Commission for Health and Safety at Work.
The INSHT carries out many activities at the European and International level in connection with other organisations:
- WHO Collaborating centre and integrated in the Global Occupational Health Network.
- Spanish reference Centre of the European Agency of Safety and Health at Work.
- Reference Office for Spain of the Health Promotion Network.
- Component of the Latin-America and Caribbean Workers' Health Net.
- Member of the Research Consortia for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
(Topic Centre Work and Health).
- Member of the International Group of Directors of Occupational Safety and Health Research
Institutes (Sheffield Group).
- Member of the European Network of Occupational Safety and Health Research Institutes.
- Member of the Mediterranean Network of Occupational Safety and Health Research Institutes.
- Participation in specific projects of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, especially in the European Survey on Working Conditions.
- Participation in projects of the Social Security International Association.
- Member of the Scientific Committee on Occupational Exposure Limits (SCOEL).
- Member of the PEROSH (Partnership for European Research in OSH).
INSHT is the national Focal Point of EU-OSHA. Within EU-OSHA, INSHT has taken part in five Thematic Network groups as well as on the Topic Centre on Research Work and Health. Nowadays, INSHT takes part in all the experts groups within the EU-OSHA. Furthermore, the INSHT is a member of the European Health Promotion Network and is the National Reference Office for Spain.