Health & Safety

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Euro Safety and Health at Work week 2011

17 September 2011

The European Week for Safety and Health at Work has become one of Europe's largest awareness raising campaigns for a healthier, safer and more productive workplace.

European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2010-2011 poster

The 2011 European Week for Safety and Health at Work is the second year of the two year healthy workplaces "Safe Maintenance" campaign.

The campaign is based on employers, employees and their health and safety representatives working together.

High Percentage of Accidents Related to Maintenance

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-related. 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.

Safe Maintenance Campaign

The main focus and objectives of the "Safe Maintenance Campaign" are to:

  • Raise awareness of the risks associated with maintenance activities;
  • Promote good practice and support EU and Member State policies, activities and initiatives in this area;
  • Raise awareness and highlight the importance of maintenance (of plants, equipment, machines and workplaces) for workers' safety and health, of the risks associated with maintenance, and of the need to eliminate workplace hazards and carry it out safely;
  • Raise awareness of employers' legal and other responsibilities to carry out safe maintenance, and of the business case for doing so;
  • Promote a simple, structured approach to OSH management in maintenance, based on appropriate risk assessment;
  • And to provide safer and healthier working conditions in workplaces throughout Europe;
  • The ultimate aim, of course, is to help to reduce the number of people who are hurt or are experiencing ill health as a result of inadequate maintenance or lack of maintenance, now and in the future.

Strategy to Reduce Work-Related Accidents

The EU Commission's 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 the EU closer to the overall goal for safer and healthier workplaces.