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Director's Corner

Short profile of Dr Christa Sedlatschek

The EU-OSHA’s Founding Regulation states that the Agency shall be headed by a Director, appointed by the Governing Board on a proposal from the Commission for a period of five years, which shall be renewable.
 
Dr. Christa Sedlatschek was appointed as Director in 2011.
 

Picture of Dr Christa SedlatschekDr Christa Sedlatschek is a medical doctor (University of Vienna) and a specialist in occupational health.

The Director is the legal representative and is responsible for the management and day-to-day running of the Agency, including all financial, administrative and personnel matters. The post is for a term of five years, renewable once, and the Director is accountable to the Governing Board

After completing her studies she started working in the Austrian labour inspectorate and moved to the Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs in 1993, taking over the function as Deputy Head of the department for occupational medicine.

In 1998 she was recruited by EU-OSHA where she focused on the development and dissemination of good practice information, becoming the head of the working environment unit. During that time she gained an in-depth knowledge about the EU and existing occupational safety and health (OSH) systems in the Member States.

In 2003 she moved to Berlin and started working in the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin - BAuA), where she became Director of the national “Initiative New Quality of Work - INQA” in 2004.

“INQA” was launched by the German Federal Ministry for labour and social affairs as a consequence of the Lisbon Summit in 2000, aiming at making a contribution towards creating more and better jobs in Europe.

 

OSH Blog

blog_logo-def.jpgThe 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.

EU-Israel Workshop on Issues Associated with Silica and Artificial Stone

EU-Israel Workshop on Issues Associated with Silica and Artificial Stone

by James Sumner at Apr 15, 2015 12:00 AM |

On 28 January 2015, EU-OSHA hosted a workshop on silica and artificial stone in Bilbao bringing together experts from the EU and Israel. The workshop was supported by the European Commission through its continued support of EU-OSHA’s engagement with the European Neighbourhood Policy countries.

 

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EU-OSHA ENP Project in Ukraine

EU-OSHA ENP Project in Ukraine

by James Sumner at Mar 30, 2015 05:30 PM |

At the beginning of March, EU-OSHA travelled to Kyiv to meet with our colleagues in the Ukrainian Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. We were assisted by the ILO, the EU Delegation to Ukraine and the European Commission as part of our European Neighbourhood Policy project. We were also ably assisted by EU-OSHA’s Estonian Focal Point who was able to provide an important Member State perspective on the work of the Agency.

 

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EU-OSHA ENP Project in Armenia

EU-OSHA ENP Project in Armenia

by James Sumner at Feb 16, 2015 12:00 AM |

In December 2014, EU-OSHA representatives travelled to Yerevan to meet with our partners in the Republic of Yerevan, as part of EU-OSHA’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) project supported by the European Commission. 

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EU-OSHA ENP Project in Tunisia

EU-OSHA ENP Project in Tunisia

by James Sumner at Jan 19, 2015 02:00 AM |

EU-OSHA representatives travelled to Tunis in December 2014 to meet with our partners in the Republic of Tunisia, as part of EU-OSHA’s European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) project supported by the European Commission. 
 

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EU-OSHA ENP Project meeting with partners in Morocco

EU-OSHA ENP Project meeting with partners in Morocco

by James Sumner at Jan 16, 2015 04:00 PM |

In October 2014, and as part of its European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) project, funded by the EU under the ENP Instrument, EU-OSHA met with our colleagues in the Kingdom of Morocco to discuss workplace health and safety and our future cooperation.

 

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IPA Summary

IPA Summary

by James Sumner at Dec 19, 2014 12:00 AM |

For more than a decade, EU-OSHA has been helping to integrate the Western Balkans and Turkey into the European occupational safety and health system. EU-OSHA works closely with countries in the Western Balkans and Turkey under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), supported by the European Commission, to enable those countries to participate in the work of the Agency.

 

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ENP Summary

ENP Summary

by James Sumner at Dec 19, 2014 12:00 AM |

Since February 2014, EU-OSHA has been working on a project supported by the European Commission through the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The ENP aims build closer, mutually beneficial ties based on common values between the EU and 16 neighbouring countries to the South and East.

 

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Dr Eusebio Rial-González

Dr Eusebio Rial-González

by Iris SANTURDE at Dec 18, 2014 04:00 PM |

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.
 

EU-OSHA's ENP Project in the Republic of Azerbaijan

EU-OSHA's ENP Project in the Republic of Azerbaijan

by James Sumner at Nov 19, 2014 12:00 AM |

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.

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Prevent Sweden visit EU-OSHA to present Sweden's best work teams

Prevent Sweden visit EU-OSHA to present Sweden's best work teams

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Oct 27, 2014 12:00 AM |

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".

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EU-OSHA Visit to Moldova

EU-OSHA Visit to Moldova

by James Sumner at Oct 27, 2014 12:00 AM |

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.

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EU-OSHA flying the flag for Europe at the XX World Congress

EU-OSHA flying the flag for Europe at the XX World Congress

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Sep 01, 2014 12:00 AM |

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.

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Ministerial welcome for EU-OSHA Director in Portugal

Ministerial welcome for EU-OSHA Director in Portugal

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Jul 09, 2014 12:00 AM |

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. 

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Professionalism, partnerships, and performance in delivering effective labour inspection

Professionalism, partnerships, and performance in delivering effective labour inspection

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Jun 11, 2014 12:00 AM |

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.

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European Neighbourhood Policy Project in Georgia

European Neighbourhood Policy Project in Georgia

by James Sumner at May 28, 2014 08:00 AM |

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.

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World Day 2014: Safety and Health in the Use of Chemicals at Work

World Day 2014: Safety and Health in the Use of Chemicals at Work

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Apr 28, 2014 12:00 AM |

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.

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Workers' Memorial Day 2014

Workers' Memorial Day 2014

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Apr 27, 2014 12:00 AM |

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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European Neighbourhood Policy Project

European Neighbourhood Policy Project

by James Sumner at Apr 03, 2014 12:00 AM |

Since February 2014, EU-OSHA has been working on a project funded under the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). The project will run until January 2016 and aims to involve ENP partner countries in the work of the Agency by establishing a single contact point in each country to provide a platform for sharing information with the local safety and health network.

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Putting OiRA at the centre of risk prevention strategies

Putting OiRA at the centre of risk prevention strategies

by the OiRA team at Feb 19, 2014 03:00 AM |

Several new OiRA tools were published in 2013 with support from EU-OSHA. This takes the total number of tools available to 15. But more importantly, there is now an OiRA community actively working together across Europe to make risk prevention easier. And the outlook for this year is even more promising, with around 50 more tools under development.

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Guidance for competence in tower crane examinations

Guidance for competence in tower crane examinations

by tregenza_osha_eu_int at Feb 14, 2014 12:00 AM |
Filed under: construction

The Consolidated Use of Work Equipment Directive 2009/104/EC requires tower and mobile cranes to be examined to detect actual and potential defects and weaknesses, and for such to be reported and acted upon so as to ensure safe crane operation. This requires an examiner who is both competent and impartial to carry out the examination. 

Guidance has been developed by a tripartite working group with representation from employees, employers and governments. The purpose of this guidance is to advise on appropriate minimum standards to ensure the competence (and impartiality) of persons carrying-out periodic and assembly examinations of tower and mobile cranes. 

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