Paying tribute to 25 years of EU-OSHA and its network of partners
In Bilbao on 5 June, EU-OSHA hosts an anniversary event to celebrate 25 years of working together for a safe and healthy Europe. The occasion is an opportunity to thank all those who have worked with the Agency over the past 25 years, as well as to highlight its many notable achievements.
EU-OSHA — known also as ‘the Bilbao Agency’ — welcomes its network of partners, dignitaries and staff past and present to the event, held in the city that the Agency is proud to call home. EU-OSHA pays tribute to all its collaborators and their commitment over the past 25 years, with speeches and panel discussions.
Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, offers her congratulations and sums up the importance of this milestone for EU-OSHA: ‘25 years ago we established EU-OSHA to make sure that everyone, and most importantly workers and employers, are aware of health and safety legislation and of good practices to implement it.’
Two panel discussions give attendees a chance to reflect on the successes achieved in occupational safety and health (OSH) in Europe over the past 25 years, as well as looking to the future. Topics include the rationale behind EU-OSHA’s foundation, its proactive approach to digital technology, the challenges and opportunities presented by the EU’s enlargement and the revolutionary nature of the European Pillar of Social Rights. Participants also reflect on the success of EU-OSHA’s flagship projects, such as the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns, OiRA and ESENER, particularly their vital roles in supporting micro, small and medium-sized enterprises.
Dr Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA’s Executive Director, remarks, ‘One of EU-OSHA’s big achievements is that it is now so well connected to businesses throughout Europe. Flagship projects such as ESENER help to strengthen this by identifying the needs of enterprises and their workers.’
The importance of continued support and of tackling current and future OSH challenges is emphasised by former EU-OSHA Director Dr Jukka Takala, who echoes one of the Agency’s key messages: ‘Good occupational safety and health equals economic success. We need to get that message across to politicians, change attitudes and change long-term thinking.’
All agree that the Agency’s pan-European partnerships and tripartite way of working are key to its success. As Mr Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, former EU-OSHA Director, comments, ‘The Agency has proved that the concept on which it was based — a tripartite agency, with a network of focal points and partners in Member States and partner countries — was an effective one. This concept was instrumental in building a common understanding of where we want to go in protecting workers.’
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns. Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU Member States and beyond.
In 2019, EU-OSHA celebrates its 25th anniversary — 25 years of working together for a safe and healthy Europe. The Agency is marking this occasion by looking back at key milestones and achievements in occupational safety and health (OSH) and looking ahead to the OSH challenges of the future. To celebrate this commitment to improving safety and health in workplaces across Europe, various activities are being held and information disseminated throughout the year. Visit our dedicated 25th anniversary web page to find out more about 2019’s celebratory activities and events. Follow the hashtag #EUOSHA25.