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ISSUE 49 page 7

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Health & Safety
World’s biggest workplace safety campaign ends in summit
 THE EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK (OSHA) celebrated the end of its first two-year campaign with a summit in Bilbao, Spain in November. Record numbers of delegates paralleled the hundreds of events held and over two million fact sheets, DVDs etc. given away, during the course of the drive to inform particularly small and medium-sized busineses (SMEs) of the benefits of risk assessment. Over 500 participants got the chance to hear and see specialists, researchers, union safety reps. and employers tell of the myriad of imaginative events that they had organised in workplaces as well as hundreds of submissions to the European Good Practice Awards and over 1,600 entries to a pan-European photography competition. The importance of the theme of the campaign was underlined when the
OSHACompPhoto
Another record was set when a total of 43 organisations, including well-known private companies such as Pirelli and the representatives of European employers and workers, Business Europe and the ETUC, signed up as official campaign partners. OSHA also chose the summit to preview its new Online Risk Assessment tool designed for SMEs. After a hugely successful two year they are now turning their attention to the next two when the theme of the next campaign will be ‘Safe Maintenance’. According to OSHA director Jukka Takala, ‘with over 450 Europeans dying every day from work-related causes, and with 6% of European GDP being lost because of work accidents and ill health, it is vital that we continue to focus on workplace health and safety’.

Rodrigo Cabrita took 3rd place in the OSHA competition with this photo

results of the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks were presented showing that between 10% and 15% of companies with between 10 and 50 employees never carry out risk assessments.

 

 

Mine disaster adds to poor Turkish safety record
AN EXPLOSION IN A COAL MINE IN WESTERN TURKEY which killed 19 workers has added to the already grim safety statistics of the industry in the EU candidate country. A leak of methane gas is believed to have been the cause of the blast which occurred at a depth of 200 metres in December. The Minister for Energy, Taner Yildiz, announced that production would stop for six months while a manager and two employees were detained by the authorities. Turkish mines have a safety record that is considerably worse than most industrialised countries; the worst accident, at Zonguldak in 1992 having killed 270 miners. Trade unions blame a lack of proper safety regulations and inadequate inspections and the International Federation of Chemical, Energy, Mine and General Workers' Unions (ICEM) point out that the government has not ratified the relevant international convention on safety and health in Text Box: The mine entrance near Bursamines.

 

 

ETUC safety body opens up mag to non-specialists
 HesaMag is the chosen name of a new publication from the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI). The twice-yearly, large-format glossy will aim to appeal to a wider public than the newsletter that it replaces. The style of the magazine will vary between short news items and in-depth articles on a particular problem, the first issue highlights nanotechnologies, with a wealth of photos, graphs and illustrations. It is envisaged that reports, interviews, surveys and pieces on popular science will combine with book reviews and accounts of trade union activity in the health and safety field to give an international feel. ‘HesaMag aims to show that occupational health is not just a matter for the specialists, it is equally a question of everyday life and a major political issue’ explained Laurent Vogel, the director of the ETUI’s Health and Safety department.  HESAMag




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