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PloneGov: The European Agency for Safety and Health shares its open source software

by xavier last modified 2009-09-19 18:12

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is one of the Community Agencies of the European Union and is located in Bilbao, Spain. Its central role is to contribute to the improvement of working life in an enlarged European Union by developing, analysing and disseminating information on occupational safety and health (OSH). EU-OSHA disseminates information and collaborates with its network through a Plone-base CMS which is now shared being shared to anyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages. EU-OSHA is an active member of PloneGov an international eGovernment open source initiative.

Based on articles by EU-OSHA. See: and


About the EU-OSHA CMS

EU-OSHA has a network made up of Focal points (normally the national OSH authorities representing EU-OSHA) in all EU Member States, Candidate and EFTA countries.

The CMS of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, based on the open source project Plone, was created to manage and facilitate the work of a network of partners, and external editors, geographically located all around Europe and beyond.The Agency has released this application under the GPL.

EU-OSHA CMS features include following facilities: publications management, calls for tender, job vacancy, seminars, metatagging, and multiple language management using XLIFF. The OSHA-CMS is at disposal of everyone interested in creating or maintaining a website in different languages and in which content is published and edited by users of a large decentralised network.

The EU-OSHA CMS stores and distributes information in a variety of ways (RSS, alerts, e-newsletter, ...). Based on the metadata entered for each piece of information, it makes the creation of sections for specific topics, a really easy task. All you need is to define the suitable keywords for that topic, and define the display of the results.

Its integrated workflow allows an easy management of the work. One editor adds a new entry; a reviewer checks that it is ok, and a manager decides if it is publishable or not. A work list allows each component of the workflow, to check his entries, or the ones he is responsible for.

This CMS solution integrates a hierarchical thesaurus of OSH terms, translated in 22 languages, which covers the most important topics on Occupational Safety and Health. However, if this is not your organisation's field, you can change it by any other Thesaurus.

EU-OSHA CMS features include:

  • The publications product, to publish PDF publications, with thumbnail auto generated, possibility to add chapters, ISBN number, and others, as well as metadata; 
  • The calls for tender facility, where you can easily add 22 language versions of the main notifications for a tender (contract notice, award, amendments, FAQs, corrigendums, etc.;
  • The Public Job Vacancy facility, where you can easily add 22 language versions of job openings.
  • Seminars (soon available), to add all the documentation for any event, as well as speeches and speakers information, presentations, pictures, videos, etc., all tagged, and classified by topic or sector.

Technological Solution

The system uses Zope and Plone (both open source software), as basis. Above them, some default features have been customized, as well as adding new ones, in order to deal with our needs. This has lead to a much powerful platform, fully open, and ready to use.

The pages are WAI AA compliant, by default.

EU-OSHA has incorporated its own thesaurus with safety and health terms, to categorise the information properly. The good thing is that anyone could add their own keywords as needed.

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