Brussels, 09 Sep 2002
A research proposal that had originally been made for the Fifth Framework programme is being commercialised in Spain in a move that could prevent thousands of accidents a year.
The 'Prevencard', a card which carries a person's full medical history, details of illnesses and blood group, is a project which has received the full support of the Spanish Minister of science and technology, Josep Piqué. It aims not only to provide a key source of information once medical attention is needed, but also to play a major role in preventing accidents.
Workers will be able to see what level of danger is for the work that they are doing through a graded scale on the card. These scales will also indicate whether there are activities that they should be avoided before work, such as drinking alcohol or taking sleeping tablets.
It will also provide the worker with the information on the type of protection that should be used in dangerous types of work, such as the wearing of hardhats, protective shoes or glasses. This type of information is already with the works supervisor, but economic considerations can mean that the correct approach is sometimes ignored. Having the information available on the card will mean that there will be a 'double responsibility', of the supervisor and the worker, to ensure that all provisions are respected.
If there is an accident, the card ensures that attention is given quickly and in the most effective way. A record of the person's medical history means that fewer or no tests will be necessary and it will also be essential for those who cannot speak for themselves, either through injury or because they are in a foreign country.
Cards carry with them an insurance policy for accidents and information on individual regulations in different countries. Some 125,000 cards are currently being used in companies in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and England.
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