25 countries to take part in European health and safety award scheme

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has invited nominations for
the sixth European Good Practice Awards. The 2005 award scheme will recognise
companies or organisations that have made outstanding and innovative
contributions to the prevention of risks from noise at work, this year's
central theme of the Agency-run annual safety and health awareness campaign.

Good practice examples are implemented solutions to prevent or reduce risks
from noise to workers' safety and health. All entries should show good
management, particularly the effective use of risk assessment and
implementation of its findings, and be focused on successful prevention of
risks to workers. Entries are invited from all EU Member States: they can be
submitted by individual enterprises (SMEs' participation is especially much
welcome) or by intermediary organisations, including chambers of commerce,
trade and professional associations and trade unions. The area covered is quite
broad and may range from control and elimination of loud noise from the
workplace and sound management methods used to enable effective communication
in noisy environments (e.g. by emergency services), to training schemes and
awareness-raising education programmes.

The Director of the European Agency, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, said 'Noise at
workplace is still too often viewed as a necessary evil, and, as its effects
are not instantaneous, it is not considered a priority. The truth is noise does
have a devastating impact on our health and it affects not only workers at
steelworks or construction sites, but also millions of people employed in the
service sector, e.g. in education, entertainment, or call centres. It can be a
causal factor in accidents, contribute to work-related stress, and may act
together with other workplace hazards to cause ill health. With the European
directive on noise to be implemented early next year, it is high time to take
more decisive measures to "stop that noise". We hope the good practice awards
will demonstrate, by example, that work-related noise can be effectively

This is the sixth year of the awards, which come under the umbrella of the
annual European Week for Safety and Health at Work. The Agency will announce
the winners at the campaign's closing event in December this year in Bilbao.
The awards will provide the winners with European recognition for their role in
improving working conditions in Europe, and the awarded examples will be
presented in an Agency booklet to be distributed across Europe.

Further information

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