EU-OHSA launches healthy workplace campaign

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched its Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2012-2013 ‘Working together for risk prevention’ on 18 April 2012.

László Andor, the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, officially launched the campaign in Brussels on 20 April 2012, which focuses on the twin concepts of management leadership and worker participation in occupational safety and health.

Even though EU workplaces are safer and healthier than they have ever been, every year there are 6.9 million workplace accidents and millions more work-related diseases. The human suffering of poor safety and health is immeasurable, and the economic cost is estimated at 490 billion euros a year – more than half the current cost of the EU’s financial crisis bail-out fund. EU-OSHA’s new campaign turns the spotlight on the importance of management leadership and worker participation in improving workplace safety and health.

Commissioner Andor called for workers and employees to work together to lay the foundations for a more sustainable risk prevention culture in Europe and stated that ‘Europe has made a lot of progress in the area of occupational safety and health in the past decade and we have to continue our work in this area. This is one of the key policies to make active ageing a reality, which is the aim of the European Year in 2012. There is evidence that prioritising health and safety is not just the right thing to do, it’s also good for business. Benefits include reduced costs and increased productivity; a happier and more productive workforce; lower rates of worker absence and turnover; fewer accidents; improved standing among suppliers and partners; greater awareness and control of workplace risks; and a better reputation for sustainability among investors, customers and communities.’

The campaign will support a range of activities at national and European level, including national partnership meetings and seminars, as well as European Weeks for Safety & Health in October 2012 and the European Good Practice Awards.