The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has been highlighting the need to reduce the number of work-related accidents and illnesses at work.
Part of the Healthy Workplaces campaign on risk assessment, the European Week for Safety and Health at Work from 20-24 October saw hundreds of campaign events and activities all over Europe including conferences and exhibitions, training sessions and activities where both large and small companies work together. The common theme linking all these events is promoting the importance of carrying out risk assessment in every workplace.
EU-OSHA has also produced a new report on risk assessment to showcase practical ways in which workplace risks can be managed and reduced.
Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, says: 'Every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes and every four-and-a-half seconds an EU worker is involved in an accident that forces them to stay at home for at least three working days. This is unacceptable! We need a change, and this change starts with assessing workplace risks. We have to make employers, workers, safety representatives and policy makers aware that proper risk assessment is the key to good workplace safety and health management.'
The success of the Healthy Workplaces campaign and its European Week is largely due to the support of the EU-OSHA network of focal points in the 27 EU Member States and accession countries. The contribution of many local and regional initiatives carried out by trade unions, enterprises, NGOs and government administrations also play an important role. All these activities show that workplace accident and illness prevention is a top priority in Europe.
The newly published Risk Assessment Magazine is one of many initiatives to increase awareness about the importance of proper risk management. It shows examples of good practice by government ministries, employers’ organisations and trade unionists from across Europe to improve workplace risk management.