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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.

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One of the key messages that EU-OSHA communicates is that good health and safety is good business. An effective health and safety system saves businesses and States money.

This should not however obscure the fact that it is the injured or ill worker who pays the highest price for occupational accidents and ill health. 


How do we integrate occupational safety and health into the bigger picture of employment and social policy on a global scale?

One way is to hold a conference on networking as a driving force for a culture of prevention with delegates from 33 countries and representatives from many international and national expert bodies.

Hosted by DGUV (Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung) during 6 – 8  February 2013 in Dresden, the conference was opened by keynote statements from Maria Neira (WHO),Seiji Machida ( ILO), Hans-Horst Konkolewsky (ISSA), Kazutaka Kogi (ICOH), Kevin Myers (IALI), Walter Eichendorf (DGUV), and Director of EU-OSHA Christa Sedlatschek.


The European Year of Citizens 2013 is officially under way, ceremonially launched by EU leaders on 10 January in Dublin, Ireland. Every year, the EU declares a particular issue on which the year will focus. This year is focused on the rights of every EU citizen, and is concerned with raising awareness about these rights so that individuals, organisations, governments and the EU as a whole can feel the benefits that these rights of citizenship can bring. All kinds of events, such as conferences and debates, as well as other opportunities for dialogue (both online and offline) are taking place throughout the year. At EU-OSHA we are keen to be part of this dialogue and to engage in this Year of Citizens with you.


When we talk of international business travellers, we think of "white collar" businessmen or diplomats, sent by multinational corporations or governments but if fact this is not a true picture. With increasing globalisation, the picture should include technical and manual workers who may work for small enterprises, and the work being carried out may be in new sectors, not just the traditional extractive and construction industries.

While it is very difficult to establish precise figures, the number of workers travelling abroad to take up assignments is staggering. For example, there are nearly 600 000 foreign workers in China alone, according to the official census in 2010 that counted them for the first time, and over 700 000 Chinese workers who are on assignment abroad.

These workers, just like any others, should be protected from harm as, according to Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General, “Safety and health at work is not only a sound economic policy - it is a basic human right”.




SÜDWESTMETALL is one of the Germany's largest Employers' Associations in the Metal and Electrical Industry, representing the interests of more than a thousand member organisations who employ around half a million workers in businesses of all sizes. More than 80 per cent of the member organisations have less than 500 employees.

Along with EU-OSHA Governing Board Member Mr Eckehart MetzeI was invited by Mr Kai Schweppe, head of the department for labour policy, to see how this employers' organisation offered assistance to its members, particularly to small and medium enterprises. 

SÜDWESTMETALL not only supports the companies in the implementation of collective agreements (Tarifverträge) between social partners. Within the area of labour policy, occupational safety and health plays a key role. SÜDWESTMETALL is assisting enterprises in the organisation of preventive measures in close co-operation with the responsible person at company level and is initiatiating research in the field of health and safety at work to develop the knowledge-base in both practical and policy-level approaches. 


On 19-20 November the Director of EU-OSHA, Dr Christa Sedlatschek, visited Denmark in order to meet and exchange information with key stakeholders. A comprehensive programme had been organised by the Danish Focal Point and Head of Unit Ms Charlotte Skjoldager, the Danish Working Environment Authority.


November 2012 marked a new milestone for the ILO-CIS Centres' Network run by the International Labour Office. The network celebrated its 50th meeting on 20/21 November 2012, bringing together collaborating centres from around the world to the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.


Malta may be the smallest Member State in the EU by both area and population size, but it is one of the leaders in the proactive protection of its workers. On 14/15 November, The Occupational Safety and Health Authority of Malta (OHSA) hosted a focal point network meeting of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.


The cartoon character Napo has done some great work for us and our partners in the Napo consortium over the years, helping to get our health and safety messages across in a fun and accessible way. We’ve seen him dealing with the hazards of loud noise, tobacco smoke and heavy lifting in the workplace. Now, he’s turning his attention to dangerous chemical substances, and changes in the way that they are packaged and labeled.

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.