The campaign focuses on the evaluation of health and safety risks and aims at reducing work-related accidents and illnesses. Improvements in this area are urgently needed. To give just one example figure: It is estimated that every three-and-a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes.
Among the participating organisations are European employers’ and workers’ federations, multinational companies from various industry sectors, research platforms and NGOs. By signing up as official partners, these organisations get substantially involved in the campaign and promote risk assessment as the first essential step for good workplace safety and health management.
“We are very proud that so many renowned organisations decided to help us raise awareness on this important topic”, Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA said. “Risk assessment is the key to preventing accidents and ill health at work. It is a legal obligation throughout Europe, but there are still companies that do not assess their risks regularly. This is reflected in figures of accidents and diseases at work which show that improvements are still needed, especially in SMEs. Partnerships with these nine organisations allow us to further increase the impact of our Healthy Workplaces campaign, already now one of the world’s largest information campaigns on occupational safety and health. And this is only the start since we are in touch with many more organisations that will join soon.”
In practical terms, the official partners promote the Healthy Workplaces campaign through their information channels, disseminate campaign material to their networks and organise their own activities such as conferences, workshops, training sessions, media events and poster competitions. In return, EU-OSHA rewards them with extensive promotion via its website and newsletter to more than 38,000 subscribers. In addition, every participant receives a Partner Certificate and is acknowledged when the Agency presents and promotes the campaign to stakeholders at EU level and to the media.
Official Campaign Partners/ Quotes:
• Philippe de Buck, Secretary General Business Europe:
“Employers are dedicated to good management of health and safety risks at the workplace, of which risk assessment is a fundamental pillar. We will be pleased to contribute to the campaign to assist companies, particularly SMEs, in analysing and combating risks at the workplace in a non-burdensome way.”
• Drewin Nieuwenhuis, Secretary General CEOC (Confederation of Inspection and Certification Organisations):
“Promoting safety, quality and the environment through independent inspection, testing and certification is often a crucial component of the risk assessment process.”
• Ian Banks, President EMHF (European Men’s Health Forum):
“This campaign rightfully recognises the value of the workplace for communicating safety and health matters to all employees, and particularly to men who delay seeking professional opinion.”
• Henk Vanhoutte, Secretary General ESF (European Safety Federation):
“Performing serious and continuous Risk Assessment is the only way to make the workplace safer. It is the basis for any OHS management and action plan in general and for correct selection and use of PPE in particular. This is common sense, not just a legal obligation.”
• Olivier Salvi, General Secretary ETPIS (European Technology Platform on Industrial Safety):
“With this campaign, ETPIS hopes that the recent results gained by research will be implemented in the industry and that successful practices already applied in specific sectors will also be applied across all industrial sectors.”
• John Monks, General Secretary ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation):
“A real risk assessment is carried out with the participation of the workers and their representatives.”
• Heinz Kiefer, President EuroCOP (European Confederation of Police):
“Too often police officers are exposed to serious risks during their work that could actually have been prevented. We participate in the risk assessment campaign in order to contribute to a risk prevention culture in police services.”
• John Rietveldt, CEO Ideal Standard International:
“Safety starts with each and every one of us and effective risk assessment is absolutely key in order for us to reach our safety objectives. It is no coincidence that Care for our Wellbeing is one of our company’s core values. We are committed to the safety of all our employees and consider even one accident as one too many! One accident is one too many. Be safe: There is only one of you.”
• Brian Boyd, WW Vice President EHS Johnson & Johnson:
“Health and Safety has always been a part of Johnson and Johnson’s Credo, we want to have the safest and healthiest workforce we can. That’s just not possible without a deep understanding of our risks and a strong framework for risk assessment and corrective action“
The Healthy Workplaces campaign on Risk Assessment runs over two years (2008/2009) and is backed by the EU Presidencies, the European Parliament, the European Commission and the European social partners. With the help of its network of national focal points in the 27 EU member states and accession countries, EU-OSHA organises hundreds of events and activities throughout the campaign.
Main campaign objectives:
• raise awareness of the legal responsibility and the importance and practical need to assess risks in the workplace
• demystify the process and show, especially to SMEs, that risk assessment is not necessarily complicated, bureaucratic, or a task only for experts
• promote a five-step approach to risk assessment
• promote the involvement of everyone in the workplace
• promote good practices which are transferable and help make the process easier
Read the full OSHA press release: