10/04/2004

Canada and Europe Spotlight Workplace Health and Safety in October 

European countries have been preparing for their health and safety week since
last April when the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work launched its
campaign in Dublin. With "Building in Safety" as its slogan, this year's
campaign (the largest OSH event of its kind in Europe) focuses on the 902
billion Euros-a-year construction industry that employs 12.7 million people, as
well as many more, unofficially. This industry has a higher-than-average rate
of occupational injury than that of the European Union, killing approximately
1,300 workers a year. It is hoped that raising awareness of and promoting OSH
activities will help make both the construction industry and all of Europe safe
and healthy places to work.

The organizers sent out information packages in every language of the EU Member
States and acceding countries. As part of the campaign they distributed posters
and leaflets, created a multilingual website http://ew2004.osha.eu.int with
examples of recommended safety practices, and sponsored the European Good
Practice Awards for organisations that have most successfully dealt with health
and safety in construction.

All of these efforts will culminate with the European Week for Safety and
Health at Work, October 18-22, 2004. The agency is encouraging workplaces
everywhere to plan activities for the week and help contribute to spreading the
OSH word.

Canada's own Healthy Workplace Week takes place October 25-31 with the theme:
People Focus. This will be a time to increase awareness of and promote healthy
workplaces to improve and sustain the health of Canadian organizations, their
employees and their work environments.

Employers and employees across Canada are being invited to participate with
their own unique brand of health, prevention and wellness initiatives. Even
small businesses with just a few employees can make an impact.

The www.healthyworkplaceweek.ca website is a year round resource to make it
easy for groups and organizations to get started with personal and
organizational planners, planning guidance and activity ideas, as well as the
Resource Well for links to other health and wellness sites, books, articles and
reports; everything one could think of to help keep the message of workplace
safety alive.

Organizations and individuals alike have a role to play and are encouraged to
participate in Healthy Workplace Week in any way they choose. They may take the
opportunity to conduct special audits and risk assessments in the workplace,
provide training, distribute information to workers about health risks and
solutions (particularly in high-risk industries such as construction) or launch
a new workplace policy. They may find willing partners in other organizations,
businesses or sub-contractors, and organize their activities as a team.

Canada's Healthy Workplace Week was founded by the Health, Work & Wellness
Conference Inc., and has been managed by the National Quality Institute and the
Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety since 2002, under the
overall direction of the Canadian Healthy Workplace Council.

The European campaign has the backing of all member States, EU acceding,
candidate and EFTA countries, the Irish and Dutch EU Presidencies, the European
Commission and Parliament, trade unions and employers' federations.

Further Information


AplusA-online.de - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work