In the morning of 17 March over 70 representatives from organisations and companies saw the 2008 campaign results and activities planned for 2009. They also learnt how to become an official campaign partner and heard about the experiences and benefits of those already engaged.
The afternoon reception at the Berlaymont building, the “heart of the European Commission”, was held in presence of EU-Commissioner Vladimír Špidla and EU-OSHA Director Jukka Takala and honoured the 33 official campaign partners for their engagement in the risk assessment campaign.
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CEOC International and OSHA (European Agency for Safety and Health at work) have close ties since several years. A series of concrete cooperation measures has been started during the running Campaign on Risk Assessment. Brenda O’Brien, the agency’s representative in Brussels, was invited as guest speaker by the CEOC Technical Committee on Occupational Health and Safety during its meeting in the frame of the CEOC New Year’s conference on 17 & 18 February in Brussels. The CEOC International International Conference and General Assembly 2009 will put the focus again on Risk Assessment with a guest speaker from the agency coming to Varna/Bulgaria on 18& 19 May. Later in the year, on 16 & 17 November, CEOC International will be participating in the Campaign closing event in Bilbao.
The campaign: “Healthy Workplaces – a European campaign on Risk Assessment” was officially launched on 13th of June 2008 and will run over two years. The main aspect of the campaign is to enforce risk assessment and thus to contribute to safer workplaces. Improvements in this area are urgently needed. To give just one example figure: It is estimated that every three-and- a-half minutes somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes. CEOC International is an important partner for OSHA in this campaign.
According to EU-OSHA Director Jukka Takala,“with the Healthy Workplaces campaign we want to encourage enterprise to carry out risk assessment properly, involving everyone in the workplace. We want to promote good practice that can be adapted to other workplaces.” Jukka Takala notes that the focus of the European occupational safety and health community is shifting towards new, information-led strategies, in combination with inspection. Therefore he sees a need in supporting the inspection system by offering advice and providing concrete examples of good practice.
OSHA is a European Union agency based in Bilbao and responsible for improving the lives of people at work by stimulating the flow of technical, scientific and economic information between all those involved in occupational safety and health issues. In addition to the Bilbao and Brussels offices, OSHA operates through a Europe-wide network of so-called “focal points”. Focal points are nominated by each government as the Agency’s official representative in that country, and they are normally the national authority for safety and health at work. The CEOC Technical Commission Occupational Health and Safety (COH) is mainly dealing with OHS issues inside CEOC.