European Week for Safety and Health at Work
Between 21 and 25 October the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and its network of partners mark a significant milestone in the Healthy Workplaces Campaign. The European Week for Safety and Health at Work aims to raise awareness of workplace safety and health and to promote active and participative risk prevention. This year’s European Week supports the current campaign — Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances.
Millions of workers across Europe frequently come into contact with dangerous substances in the workplace, and the use of such substances is increasing. This exposure can have negative effects on workers’ health and their ability to work in the long term, so prevention is extremely important. Hundreds of events and activities organised to mark the European Week for Safety and Health at Work aim to raise awareness of this issue and encourage the exchange of best practice to ensure effective risk prevention.
Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA’s Executive Director, believes that it is essential that all European companies have access to the knowledge and resources they need to improve their risk management and highlights the pivotal role that the Healthy Workplaces Campaign has played in ensuring this: ‘According to a Eurobarometer study , which surveyed almost 28,000 people in 28 countries, 65 % are worried about being exposed to hazardous chemicals. This is where EU-OSHA’s dangerous substances e-tool can help. Free to use, it provides employers with the advice and support they need to effectively manage dangerous substances in the workplace.’
The interactive e-tool — specifically created for micro and small enterprises (MSEs) — helps businesses to do risk assessments on their use of dangerous substances and provides them with tailored advice on good practice and how to apply effective measures in the workplace. An impressive 26,000 visits have been recorded since the launch of the tool in May 2018, and it is tailored now to Iceland, Norway and Portugal. Country versions for other countries will follow later.
EU-OSHA works closely with its extensive network of partners to promote the European Week for Safety and Health at Work and ensure its success. The Agency thanks its national focal points, official campaign partners and media partners in particular for their support, which is key to the success of the European Week.
The national focal points have organised a wide variety of events throughout the week. National campaign closing events to review the highlights of the campaign, exchange good practice and reflect on lessons learned are held in Austria , Lithuania , Italy and Slovakia .
In Spain, a conference in Barcelona focuses on minimising exposure to carcinogens, while a workshop in Madrid highlights the importance of a strong risk prevention culture in managing hazardous substances. And a conference in Finland discusses the safe handling of chemical agents in the workplace and offers practical advice to participants.
What’s more, campaign partners, media partners, and committed supporters hold many smaller events across Europe all with the same aim — to reduce the risks from dangerous substances in Europe’s workplaces.
Anyone — from employees and employers to OSH experts and stakeholders — can participate in the European Week for Safety and Health at Work. To help promote safer and healthier workplaces, you can:
- download and distribute the free campaign resources ;
- organise an event or activity in your area;
- follow us on social media with #EUhealthyworkplaces and share promotional posts and materials;
- take part in events and competitions.
EU-OSHA Helps to Protect Workers Across Europe From Exposure to Dangerous Substances
EU-OSHA’s flagship awareness-raising activity is a pan-European campaign named the Healthy Workplaces Campaign. Under the slogan “Safety and health at work is everyone’s concern. It’s good for you. It’s good for business,” activities in a given cycle cover a specific topic, aimed at spreading the message to workplaces all over Europe and beyond.
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