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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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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.


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.


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. 


The Global Framework: Safety, health and security for work-related international travel and assignments was released by The International SOS Foundation following a Meeting of International Experts held last year. 


On Thursday 24 October 2013, during the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, the Hamburg OSH Partnership held an event to celebrate its winning of a European Good Practice Award 2013 and to further promote the campaign of “Working together for risk prevention”.

Following their success in the national and European Good Practice competitions, the European Award has been handed over to the Hamburg OSH Partnership by European Commissioner Lázló Andor and EU-OSHA Director Christa Sedlatschek in the European Award Ceremony in Dublin in April this year. The event in Hamburg has been organised in order to recognise all national partners in a decent ceremony and further stimulate the exchange of good practices.


On Monday 21 October 2013, at the start of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, the Belgian Focal Point held an event to mark the 2012-13 Campaign - Working Together for Risk Prevention. The conference was held in the Ministry for Employment, Work and Social dialogue in Brussels and was great way to recognise all the work that went into delivering the campaign, not only in Belgium, but also in the neighbouring Netherlands and Luxembourg.


On the morning of Wednesday 25 September 2013, after many months of planning, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) joined three other agencies in the European Parliament in Brussels to highlight the work we are doing to help make Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work.


On 26-28 August, Helsinki hosted the international conference on ”Work, Well-being and Wealth – Active Ageing at Work”.

The aim of the conference was to bring together researchers, experts and European networks in the field, and to present and discuss the major issues related to the ageing of the working population and its consequences for the workplaces and society, identifying research needs and solutions. The conference dealt with topics such as work ability, disability prevention, return to work, exploring the different aspects of the extension of working life. The conference programme included among others sessions on psychosocial factors supporting participation in working life, on the management of competencies for sustainable work, and on disability prevention and reintegration.


Improving well-being at work can be achieved in a variety of different ways, and our case studies provide excellent examples of this. Focusing on the practical ways in which organisations have promoted well-being at work, the case studies demonstrate that each approach is unique and context specific. A standard approach is not possible, partly because every organisation is different, each with its own requirements, but also because there is no agreed definition of ‘well-being at work’.


These are interesting times for occupational safety and health in Europe. When organisations of all sizes are questioning its value, and when budgets for health and safety are coming under pressure, in some of the biggest institutions in the EU, as well as the smallest.

We at the Agency have been part of this process. With our annual report for 2012 we have been looking back at our achievements over the last year, but we have also been looking forward, and thinking about what we are likely to face in the years ahead. We are starting to develop a new strategic programme for our work, as we face up to new challenges in workplace safety and health.
Challenges like the increasing number of older workers in Europe, and the implications for occupational safety and health (OSH).