The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is bringing its two-year campaign to a close through its Healthy Workplaces Summit on Safe Maintenance. The two-day summit in Bilbao brings together leading European experts and decision makers including the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Lászlo Andor, the new Director of EU-OSHA, Dr Christa Sedlatschek and representatives of governments and social partners.
The Safe Maintenance Campaign 2010-2011 drew record levels of involvement with EU-OSHA's Europe-wide network of focal points and the 53 pan-European companies and organisations that joined as official campaign partners actively involved. Many of these are in attendance at the Bilbao summit (22 and 23 November) to discuss the results of the campaign, exchange good practice and explore future strategies on promoting workplace health and safety through plenary sessions, workshops and discussion.
Opening the Healthy Workplaces Summit on Safe Maintenance in Bilbao László Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, spoke about the importance of the campaigns saying ‘EU-OSHA's Europe-wide Healthy Workplaces Campaigns are playing an essential role in making Europe's occupational health and safety strategy a reality on the ground. This is especially important in the current economic climate where many Europeans are facing an increased workload and organisations try to do more with less. The Healthy Workplaces Campaign is a chance to get the message across that, even in difficult times, the safety of workers cannot be compromised and must remain a top priority. The fiscal constraints and difficult labour market situation in many countries must not obscure the bigger truth that a safe and healthy workplace is also good for business.'
EU-OSHA Director, Dr Christa Sedlatschek comments ‘through our Healthy Workplaces Campaign we reach out to millions of European workers, in their own workplaces, and in their own languages. And with each campaign, we manage to involve more campaign partners, and help to organise more awareness-raising events. Since its launch in April 2010, the Healthy Workplaces Campaign on Safe Maintenance has mobilised some 10,000 people through a series of over 300 partnership meetings, information sessions and awareness raising activities, all with the goal of bringing the importance of safe maintenance to the fore.
I am confident that, through this campaign, we have helped to prevent significant numbers of people being hurt at work in Europe. Besides, with the development of a maintenance module for our Online interactive Risk Assessment tools (OiRA), we will give organisations of all sizes, easily and for free, the means to take a structured, step-by-step and effective approach to maintenance. The OiRA module on maintenance will be an important legacy of this campaign.'
95% of the Agency's national focal points confirmed, in a recent survey, that the 2010-11 Healthy Workplaces campaign succeeded in raising awareness of its key messages in their countries.
The summit also offers a preview of the next campaign, due to be launched in April 2012 entitled ‘Working together for risk prevention'. The campaign will focus on the twin concepts of leadership and worker involvement. Over 90% of existing official campaign partners have already confirmed their interest in supporting the next Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-13, highlighting networking activities (64%) as the main benefit of being active partners.
During the course of the two days, attendees have also an opportunity to participate in one of three workshops that will focus respectively on ‘Safe Maintenance and Risk Assessment', ‘Good Practices in Safe Maintenance' and ‘Successful Health and Safety Campaigning'.
For more information on EU-OSHA, the safe maintenance summit and its campaigns visit: http://healthy-workplaces.eu