Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

FP6

COMFOR — Result In Brief

Project ID: 30300
Funded under: FP6-SME
Country: Germany

Chipping away at problems in the forestry industry

An EU-funded initiative developed a set of tools to help small EU forestry businesses work toward improved occupational health and economic performance.
Chipping away at problems in the forestry industry
Various changes in forestry operations, such as the shift to outsourcing, have been accompanied by increased economic pressures on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and occupational health problems. The Comfor project's research led to the development of an innovative knowledge transfer concept aimed at mitigating these problems. The consortium's vision was to transform science into practice and provide ways to encourage the adoption of ergonomically sound working practices.

Project activities culminated in a focused and user-friendly educative package containing seven tools - training packages - and methods for long-term positive results on health and performance. The training concepts and packages were individually designed on the basis of conditions specific to each of the 10 participant Comfor countries.

Following testing, approval and acknowledgement by contractors themselves, the tools and methods have already been widely accepted by the forestry-contracting sector, thanks to the project's intensive dissemination and training efforts. Furthermore, they are being considered for incorporation into various contractor training and certification schemes.

Available in the languages of participating countries and available for downloading from the Comfor website, the tools will generally be provided royalty-free to SMEs in forest operations. This is in line with Comfor's goal of achieving widespread dissemination of project results for maximum effect in improving health and performance throughout EU forest operations.

Results of the Comfor project have been published in various articles and presented in numerous scientific conferences as well as at relevant international gatherings through poster and PowerPoint presentations.

Project work offers forestry SMEs the potential to achieve long-term positive results and contributes to a more competitive and sustainable EU forestry workforce.

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