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EU-OSHA Blog

The aim of this blog is to bring you news about developments in occupational safety and health across the EU and beyond, and also about EU-OSHA initiatives and activities to fulfill our mission.

We are one of the smallest EU agencies and cannot promise to reply to every comment, but we will read them and bear them in mind to shape our future work. The blog content is available only in English.

Aktuelle Einträge

18/12/2014

It is with great sadness that we have to report the death of Dr Eusebio Rial-González. Seb died peacefully in his sleep on 18 December 2014 in his home town of Vigo, Spain, after a lengthy struggle with cancer.

As Head of the Prevention and Research Unit, Seb has been the architect of the Agency’s current Healthy Workplaces’ campaign on work-related stress and psychosocial risks – an area in which he had specialised earlier in his career as a researcher and consultant. Amongst his other EU-OSHA achievements, he can also count the design and launch of ESENER, the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks,  the launch of the Online interactive Risk Assessment project, OiRA, and the setting up of the OSHwiki.

But alongside his many accomplishments, Seb will, above all,  be remembered at EU-OSHA as a well-respected colleague and for many of us a real friend. Whatever the issue, Seb’s first thoughts – professionally and personally – were invariably how he might help and support others and if possible to do it with a smile. His generous approach touched friends, colleagues and many others and he had an impressive ability to collect friends as well as professional contacts as he travelled across Europe.

He was a dedicated follower of Bruce Springsteen, having seen him in concert on over 20 occasions in at least five different countries. He would often quote ‘the Boss’ and so it’s somehow appropriate that we close this message with a Springsteen quote:  “The release date is just one day, but the record is forever.” And a link to his favourite song

Our condolences go to Seb’s family and many, many friends.
 

19/11/2014

As part of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) project, funded by the EU under the ENP Instrument, EU-OSHA representatives met with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population in Baku, Azerbaijan during the month of October. This meeting provided a great opportunity for EU-OSHA to introduce its own work programme and to learn about the state of occupational safety and health in Azerbaijan.

27/10/2014

On 29 September 2014, EU-OSHA representatives visited the Republic of Moldova and met with the Moldovan Ministry of Labour, Social Protection and Family as part of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) project, funded by the EU under the ENP Instrument.

27/10/2014

On 26 September, Prevent Sweden paid a visit to EU-OSHA in Bilbao. Prevent Sweden is a joint worker and employer backed organisation dedicated to improving working conditions and reducing accidents and ill-health in Sweden. 

Bodil Mellblom, Christian Jernstedt, Anders Eklund, Karin Ahlgren, Maria Bergqvist and Krister Skoglund came to the Agency to present their work entitled "Sweden's Best Work Teams".

01/09/2014

Europe reached out to the world at the XX World Congress for Safety and Health at Work, held in Frankfurt, Germany between 24 and 27 August 2014. The Congress, held every three years, rotates between cities and continents, and the twentieth conference followed up the success of the previous event held in Istanbul, Turkey.

09/07/2014

A meeting between Pedro Mota Soares, Minister of Solidarity, Employment, and Social Security and EU-OSHA Director Dr Christa Sedlatschek was the highlight of her visit to Portugal on 23/24 June 2014.

During the visit, the Director also met with the Secretary of State for Employment, Octavio Oliveira, the Portuguese Parliamentary Groups at the Palácio de São Bento, social partners, the Inspector-General of ACT (Autoridade para as Condições do Trabalho), Pedro Pimenta Braz, and the Portuguese Focal Point Emilia Telo. 

11/06/2014

At the 14th Congress of the International Association of Labour Inspectors (IALI) in Geneva, EU-OSHA’s director gave a keynote speech on the challenges and opportunities facing labour inspection. The congress considered the challenges and opportunities for labour inspection, the need for professionalism and integrity, and the value of partnerships.

One key issue is the increasingly diverse workforce and its impact on occupational safety and health - especially that of women workers. Women are more likely to work in part-time roles and in retail and service industries, education and healthcare. These working environments result in specific OSH challenges.  Research reveals that current OSH can be better targeted and improved overall for women.

28/05/2014

On 28 and 29 April 2014, EU-OSHA representatives met with the Georgian Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Affairs in Tbilisi to discuss our cooperation as part of EU-OSHA’s ENP Project funded by the EU under the European Neighbourhood Policy.

We discussed current developments in the area of safety and health at work in Georgia and presented information on the occupational health and safety system in the EU. Georgia is in the process of developing structures to improve workplace health and safety. An Association Agreement between Georgia and the European Union is being finalised, which includes a commitment from Georgia to bring its legislation in the field occupational safety and health into agreement with the EU Directives in the area. This is a good opportunity for EU-OSHA to provide support to Georgia as it develops its capacity to improve workplace health and safety.

28/04/2014

Safety and health in the use of chemicals at work is the theme for the ILO World Day for safety and health at work in 2014, celebrated on April 28. 

Chemicals are essential for modern life, but can be a danger to workers. Some of these dangers are well known, others less so. Ideally, the exposure of workers to dangerous substances should be eliminated, but often chemicals have to be managed in the workplace, just like any workplace hazard, to reduce the risk to workers. 

A chemical is defined by ILO Convention no. 170 (1990) on safety in the use of chemicals at work as "chemical elements and compounds, and their mixtures, whether natural or synthetic such as those obtained through production process". Hazardous chemicals are classified according to the type and degree of their intrinsic health and physical hazards. 

Use of chemicals at work is defined by the same Convention as any work activity which may expose a worker to a chemical, including during the production, handling, storage, transport, and disposal of chemicals.

27/04/2014

The human cost of failing to protect workers is terrible. The ILO estimates that about 2 300 000 people - men, women, and children - die every year from work-related accidents and diseases. In Europe, more than 5 500 people lose their lives as a result of workplace accidents and a further 159,000 die as a result of work-related illnesses. 

The victims of poor working conditions extend beyond the workers themselves, They include the families of the workers lost, who not only suffer emotional trauma but also may be left in a precarious financial position due to the loss of income.

An assessment-based practical approach to workplace prevention, with management showing commitment and leadership to running their business safely and healthily, and with workers engaged in the prevention process can lead to better business, reduced costs to society - and a lower death toll.

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