EU-OSHA Blog

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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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EU OSHA was invited to participate in the workshop "Impementation od Labour Law and Law on OSH, as a final benchmark for Chapter 19 - Social Policy and Employment in the Context of European integration" hosted by the Minstry of Economic Development of Montenegro, which took place on 29 and 30 November 2021.

The aim of the workshop was to discuss about the current labour and OSH laws implementation and saw the participation of the main EU acquis chapter 19 stakeholders, like representatives from the Ministry of Economic Development, Montenegrin Union of Employers, Trade Unions, Free Trade Unions, the Superior Court of Montenegro, Ministry of Health, OSH companies, the Institute for Development and Research for OSH, the Administration for Inspection Control, the OSH Association and the Administration for Health Insurance.

In consideration of the health restrictions, EU OSHA intervened virtually and introduced the aim of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2020-2022 "Ligthen the Load".

An IPA Focal point meeting, addressed for the first time only to representatives from IPA beneficiaries, took place in Belgrade, Serbia, on 20 October 2021.

The meeting was chaired by EU OSHA and was hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia.

EU OSHA presented the contents of the EU OSH Strategic Framework 2021-2027, which is also making a reference to further support to be addressed to the Western Balkans; the WHO/ILO Joint Estimates of the Work-related Burden of Disease and Injury; and the contents of one of the latest EU OSHA publications concerning a study on possible 4 macro-scenarios regarding the Circular Economy and OSH. 

A representative from a Serbian Ergonomic Agency introduced the ergonomics strategy for the prevention of musculoskeletal diseases.

IPA representatives from North Macedonia, Turkey and Serbia provided updates on the current OSH initiatives and strategies at national level.

Representatives from the other IPA beneficiaries could not attend due to the traveling restrictions deriving from the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

On 19 October 2021, EU OSHA was invited to attend at the Healthy Workplaces Campaign conference hosted by the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs of Serbia. The conference was chaired by the Minister of Labour and had the purpose of raising awareness on health and safety at work, also through awarding the best labour inspectors for their OSH work.

Key OSH key actors, such as the acting directors of the OSH Directorate and of the Labour Inspectorate as well as several labour inspectors took part to the event. 

EU OSHA presented the aim and contents of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2020-2022 "Lighten the Load" and shared the latest knowledge on Musculoskeletal Disorders related to sedentary work, focusing in particular on the health risks deriving from prolonged sitting, on strategies to decrease the risks as well as on concrete remedies and tips to reduce sitting and related MSD risks.

The conference ended with the OSH Good Practice 2021 award ceremony, were two local companies were awarded for having implemented the best OSH practice in Serbia.

 

On 4 November 2021, within the framework of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2021, the Minister of Labor and Social Policy and the President of the National OSH Council of North Macedonia awarded the three best companies implementing the "Best OSH Practice 2021".

During the awards ceremony, it was emphasized that the main objective of the competition is to contribute to the promotion of the OSH culture among companies in line with the EU standards and best practice.

The Minister concluded the awarding cermoeny by highlighting the ongoing Healthy Workplaces Campaign – “Lighten the load of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, focusing on the prevention and management of work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), as one of the most common work related health problems suffered by workers in Europe.

Inspired by the ILO centenary anniversary, the world day for safety and health at work on 28 April 2019 looks to the future or work and its impact on occupational safety and health. In particular, the ILO has identified four areas: Technology, demographics, sustainable development, and work organisation.

Global union confederation ITUC announced the theme for International Workers’ Memorial Day on 28 April 2019 as ‘taking control – removing dangerous substances from the workplace’. The union-led campaign emphasises a ‘Zero Cancer’ approach, urging worker safety representatives to seek to eliminate or minimise exposure to carcinogens in the workplace.

We can only estimate the cost of failing to protect workers, latest figures showing that work-related accidents and illnesses take the lives of over 200 000 people and cost the EU at least EUR 476 billion every year - 3.3 % of European GDP. The cost of work-related cancers alone amounts to EUR 119.5 billion.

 
Every year on 28 April, we mark an important awareness date: the World Day for Safety and Health at Work. The 2018 SafeDay puts the spotlight on the young generations. It gives rise to a global campaign to improve the safety and health of young workers and end child labour. The ILO estimates that 85 million children under 18 years old are doing work which poses a physical, psychosocial or moral danger to them.

When it comes to the occupational safety and health (OSH) of women in the workplace, trends identified by EU-OSHA show risks and their implications for OSH management, as well as good practices to overcome them. These, which might have a stronger impact on older female employees in particular, will be influential in guiding policy and future research.

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