25 years of raising awareness of OSH to improve the lives of workers across Europe

Engaging with target audiences and raising awareness of occupational safety and health (OSH) risks and how to prevent them have been at the heart of the Agency’s work from the outset.

Healthy Workplaces Campaigns— getting the message across

The Healthy Workplaces Campaigns are EU-OSHA’s flagship awareness-raising activity and the largest campaigns of their kind in the world. Their message is clear:

Safety and health at work is everyone’s concern. It’s good for you. It’s good for business.

The Agency began running 2-year Healthy Workplaces Campaigns in 2008, each with the aim of raising awareness of an important OSH-related issue and providing resources in 25 languages to manage the problem in workplaces:

The upcoming campaign, Lighten the Load (2020-2022), will be the first campaign to follow a three-year cycle and will focus on work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

These campaigns evolved from annual campaigns that centred on the European Week for Safety and Health at Work. The European Week, held every October, aims to raise awareness of the importance of active, participative OSH management and remains one of the highlights of the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns. In fact, the European Week is by far the largest annual OSH event, with hundreds of activities, from networking events to film screenings and training sessions, taking place in more than 30 countries across Europe.

The success of the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns depends on the commitment of EU-OSHA’s partners: the national focal points and their networks, the official campaign partners and the campaign media partners. Their participation in events and dissemination of campaign materials are paramount to getting each campaign’s messages across to Europe’s businesses.

Good practice exchange is also a key element of the campaigns. The Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards highlight examples of innovative and sustainable approaches to OSH in relation to each campaign’s theme.

Napo — ‘safety with a smile’

Effective communication and reaching target audiences underpin EU-OSHA’s awareness-raising capabilities. Napo — the animated star of a series of educational films — was conceived to meet the need for high-quality information outputs that could break down national boundaries, taking into account the diverse cultures and languages of people at work across Europe.

The Napo consortium has now produced over 30 Napo films, many of which relate to the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns and form a valuable part of the tools and resources produced for each campaign. The likeable characters and light-hearted approach offer an effective way of engaging people in OSH and raising awareness of risks and how to manage them. The Napo for Teachers toolkit introduces health and safety topics to primary school children in an educational, yet fun and imaginative way using the Napo clips and creative activities.

Through awareness-raising campaigns and other activities, and by providing high-quality information and practical guidance in a way that can be understood and applied by everyone, EU-OSHA has become a world-renowned leader in promoting safe and healthy workplaces.