European Week 2012 - reaching the frontline of Europe's workplaces

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA
Cyprus: 50,000 lottery tickets with the logo of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign

Anyone who has taken part in the Cyprus lottery recently might have noticed something unusual about it: the logo of our most recent Healthy Workplaces Campaign, Working Together for Risk Prevention, has been appearing on tickets. With the lottery very popular among Cypriot employees, this is just one of the imaginative ways of getting across our message about the Campaign, which we’ve seen during the European Week for Safety and Health at Work.

Slovenia: Napo promotes the Healthy Workplaces Campaign at the biggest educational youth fair

Our two-year Healthy Workplaces Campaigns are now the biggest of their kind in the world, and a particular focus for each of them is the European Week in October (this year, from the 22nd to the 26th), which sees hundreds of awareness-raising events being organised across Europe.

European Week 2012 has been particularly successful, with all kinds of conferences, exhibitions, competitions and training sessions taking place. Given that our current Campaign is about working together for risk prevention, it’s been great to see organisations of all sizes co-operating with each other in their European Week activities.

Malta: OHS Good Practice Award 2012

And we’ve been very pleased to see what a wide range of organisations have been taking part, regionally and locally – not just trade unions, NGOs and government bodies, but individual businesses too.

In Ireland, for example, we saw a construction company spreading the risk prevention message via ‘tool box talks’ (short presentations to the workforce on essential aspects of health and safety), as well as through a competition, and a comic book illustrating the dangers of children playing on building sites. A great example of how, by working with our network of partners (most of the European Week events are organised with the help of our national Focal Points), we’re able to get our Campaign messages to where they matter most – the frontline of Europe’s workplaces.

Norway: A photo exhibition organised during the European Week

Talking of construction, we’ve recently seen one of the biggest and best examples of the value of working together for risk prevention: the building of the Olympic venues in London. This was the first time on record that an Olympic stadium has been constructed with no fatalities: in fact, statistics show that working as a builder on the London Olympics site was no more dangerous than working in a shop.

The secret of this success isn’t hard to work out: it’s about having good leadership and clear

communication, and engaging everyone in a workplace in keeping that workplace safe. These lessons, from one of Europe’s biggest construction projects of recent years, apply also in even the smallest businesses. They’re the lessons that we’re promoting through our Campaign, and through the European Week, more workers and employers in Europe will have heard about them.

Find more events inspired by the European week and organised across Europe
Stay tuned with the latest news of the Healthy Workplaces campaign 2012 – 2013