Building up the future EU strategy on Health and Safety a Work.
Speaking in Budapest on 29 April, Commissioner László Andor congratulated the winners of the awards for their innovative contributions to promoting safe maintenance in Europe: “They have demonstrated that is possible to improve the health and safety of workers performing maintenance. And their work is a very valuable contribution to the objective of the EU Strategy on Health and Safety at Work to reduce accidents at work and occupational diseases”.
Organized by the Hungarian Presidency in cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the ceremony highlighted good safety and health practices among European employers and workers, and other stakeholders, in the framework of the European Campaign on Safe Maintenance (2008) – also managed by the EU-OSHA. “The Agency plays an important role in strengthening the implementation of EU legislation and reduction of occupational accidents and diseases, in line with the EU Strategy on Health and Safety at Work 2007-2012”, stressed the Commissioner.
To foster health at safety at work “legislation is not enough”, explained Mr Andor – “Providing information related to safety and health at work, raising awareness, and sharing good practice are crucial in promoting better implementation of the provisions of the health and safety at work legislation”.
The EU Strategy on health and safety at work sets the goal of achieving, by 2012, a 25% reduction in the rate of accidents at work. According to the European Statistics on Accidents at Work, 5580 workers in the EU 27 died in a fatal accident at work in 2007 (in average 15 workers every day) and approximately 2.9 % of the workers had an accident at work with more than 3 days of absence.
Speaking to the journalists after the ceremony, the Commissioner explained some of the future actions under the EU Strategy 2007-2012: the upcoming revision of Directive 2004/40/EC on electromagnetic fields and the proposal for a new directive on ergonomics and work-related musculoskeletal disorders expected for the end of the year. “Despite the progress made, and confirmed by the mid-term review of the strategy – to be published in the next weeks – there is still work to be done”, said Mr Andor.
A large consultation process will be launched in the course of 2011 and continued in 2012 to identify the priorities for the new strategy 2013-2020 – “it will provide a political framework, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy, for the improvement of occupational safety and health at both national and European level and for stakeholders to play their role in the implementation of the objectives of the strategy”, explained Mr Andor.