Spending on health and safety is an investment not a cost

The recently published EU-OSHA's 2009 Annual Report emphasises the long-term
value of workplace health and safety in difficult economic times, and
encourages employers to find alternatives to redundancy.

Spending on workplace health and safety should be seen as an investment and not
a cost, according to the Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health
at Work (EU-OSHA). Along with the publication of the Agencys Annual Report for
2009, Jukka Takala warned against organisations abandoning long term benefits
for short term gains, by reducing their health and safety budgets in difficult
times. With 80% of European managers reporting workplace accidents as the main
concern, we cannot afford to make cuts in workplace health and safety.

The 2009 Annual Report acknowledges that the year was a difficult one
throughout Europe, with many economies struggling to emerge from recession, and
with unemployment rates rising. EU-OSHA has seen increases in many of the
health and safety problems that affect European workers, as they have to absorb
the work previously done by workers who have been made redundant, and as they
suffer from greater stress. In fact, findings from the recent ESENER survey
show that 52% of managers in Europe think that time pressure contributes to
psychosocial risks in their company. Other influencing factors are job
insecurity (26%) and long working hours (21%).

Workers are also facing the growing risk that long-term absence from work will
result in them never getting back into employment. According to Jukka Takala,
the more enlightened employers have been introducing more part-time work and
job rotation, to try to avoid redundancies among their workforce while still
reducing their wage bills they realise that retaining their experienced staff
is an investment for the next upturn.

EU-OSHA has continued to emphasise the importance of workplace health and
safety for successful organisations. Main projects in 2009 include the ESENER
survey, the Healthy Workplaces Campaign on Risk Assessment, a pan-European
photo competition and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award. The report also offers
an outlook into 2010.

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