On 23 March 2021, the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health (EU-OSHA) launched its multilingual thesaurus on Occupational Health and Safety (OSH). This tool consists of a list of 2 000 OSH related terms grouped together in a hierarchy, including synonyms, antonyms, definitions and some references.
The thesaurus is integrated into the European Union Terminology Database (IATE), a project launched in 1999 to provide a web-based infrastructure for all EU terminology resources and enhance the availability and standardisation of the information. The IATE has been used in the EU institutions and agencies since 2004 for the collection, dissemination and management of EU-specific terminology.
Available in any of the 25 EU languages, the thesaurus has been developed within the multilingualism framework – a cornerstone of EU-OSHA’s work to make European workplaces safer, healthier and more productive. In fact, multilingualism is a vital element of inclusive communication in the European Union and for any pan-European organisation. Making the information, analysis and tools available in multiple languages means that organisations can reach more people and spread their messages as widely as possible. Therefore, multilingualism is both a fundamental principle to respect and a pragmatic choice that helps EU institutions carry out their missions. It also participates in innovative projects in this area in collaboration with other EU organisations.
EU-OSHA aims to think creatively and work cost-effectively to ensure that its activities are accessible to EU citizens regardless of the languages they speak. Examples include the Napo animated films that are language-free, the Healthy Workplaces Film Award for the best work-related documentary funding subtitles of the winning films in multiple European languages, and the OiRA risk assessment tools available in many languages. While some of the reports EU-OSHA produces are available in all languages, others are translated following national focal points' requests. The focal points play an active role in assessing the need for translations and monitoring their quality.