07/03/2006

The Healthy Workplace Initiative

The way to a more productive and successful business is a safe and healthy
workplace. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work launches ‘The
Healthy Workplace Initiative' (HWI) to provide both employers and employees
with easy access to information about how to improve their business environment
by becoming healthier and more productive. In a series of 36 seminars across
the 12 participating countries and a practical guide to risk assessment the
Agency addresses the specific needs of small and medium-sized enterprises
(SMEs). The new initiative kicks-off on June 30th, and continues until the
beginning of November and will run in Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria and
Romania.

The HWI is part of an Agency drive to develop a preventive occupational safety
and health (OSH) culture in Europe and is designed to raise awareness of OSH
essentials, such as the need to conduct risk assessments and involve the
workforce in any prevention plans, as well as to share ‘good practice'
knowledge.

In support of the initiative, the European Agency is launching a practical
Guide to risk assessment in business. The 'Risk assessment tool' enables
employers and employees to analyse and assess their work environment according
to their specific sector needs. The practical checklist allows for a quick and
simple overview of the current situation in the company and provides advice and
support for change and improvement of that work environment.

Thirty-six free seminars will also be held in the ten most recent EU Member
States and in the two accession countries, Bulgaria and Romania. Employers and
employees can register for free at  http://hwi.osha.europa.eu/events. During
these practical seminars tailored to SMEs, high-level professionals will share
their knowledge of how to make businesses stronger and more productive through
the creation of a healthy workplace.

Speaking at the first HWI seminar in Warsaw, Poland, on 30th June 2006,
Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health
at Work, commented: "Small businesses are important drivers of the European
economy and they employ almost three-quarters of the workforce. However,
unfortunately, they suffer from above-average incidence rates of accidents and
work-related health problems. Our message to small businesses in the 12
participating countries to the Healthy Workplace Initiative is clear: placing
safety and health at the heart of their business strategy will not only reduce
costs due to less injuries and ill health, but will also improve the quality of
work and productivity of their business."

Practical tips on how to do this, including the risk assessment tools for
specific hazards and sectors, are available on a dedicated multilingual
website. The campaign is also being backed up by publications, media relations
and advertising.

More information


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