Safe maintenance in focus with the launch of the new Healthy Workplaces Campaign

To mark the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, the European
Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched its new Healthy
Workplaces Campaign for 2010/11, promoting safe maintenance across Europe. In
some European countries as much as 20% of all workplace accidents are connected
with maintenance and in a number of sectors over half of all accidents are

Maintenance is essential to prevent workplace risks, but it is itself a high
risk activity for the workers that carry it out. It is estimated that in Europe
10-15% of fatal accidents at work can be attributed to maintenance operations.
It is vital, therefore, that maintenance is carried out properly, taking into
consideration workers' safety and health.

Launching the Campaign at the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels,
Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, alongside the EU Commissioner for
Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, outlined the
campaign's objectives and the basic rules for safe maintenance as a key
contribution to healthy workplaces.

Mr Andor giving his backing to the Campaign, said: "Maintenance is a daily part
of every workplace and sector. The 20% of accidents currently linked to
maintenance is too high and shows it's an area where we have to raise awareness
and step up our efforts". He added: "Our overall strategy is to cut all
work-related accidents in the EU by 25% over the coming years. This campaign
will help to raise awareness about maintenance-related risks, saving lives
across Europe and bringing us closer to our overall goal for safer and
healthier workplaces".

Poorly managed maintenance activities and procedures raise the risks of
workplace accidents, including fatal accidents, involving workers at all levels
across a wide range of industries. In one of the worst incidents of its kind in
Europe, the Piper Alpha disaster of 1988 saw the North Sea oil and gas platform
turned into a blazing inferno within seconds, killing 167 workers - a tragic
example of the potential consequences of inadequate maintenance procedures.

More info - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work