Risk prevention requires cooperation between workers and management
This year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work is highlighting the role of strong management leadership combined with worker involvement in helping to make Europe’s workplaces safe, healthy and productive.
Organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and its partners, the Week runs from today (22 October) to 26 October. It sees events organised across Europe in support of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign, ‘Working together for risk prevention’.
“Safety and health at work is everyone’s concern and we achieve success by working together,” explained Dr Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA. “A good recent example of how things can go well when employers and employees cooperate has been the construction of the London 2012 Olympic Park – the largest infrastructure construction site in Europe, involving some 36,000 employees.
“The construction saw no fatalities – the first time ever for an Olympic stadium – thanks to strong leadership, clear lines of communication and the engagement of staff and partners in health and safety.”
HSE chair Judith Hackitt said: “Preventing death, injury and ill health caused by work should be the aim of leaders and all employees in every workplace. HSE has been encouraging leaders and workers to work together to achieve these aims by promoting joint training programmes, which have been extraordinarily successful.
“We know teamwork and partnership are effective in reducing risks and delivering good performance, and the London Olympics and Paralympics construction project has indeed set the bar at a new height for everyone to aspire to.”
To support the campaign, EU-OSHA has prepared two practical guides on management leadership and worker participation in occupational health and safety. Management Leadership in OSH – a practical guide gives business leaders practical information on how safety and health can be improved through effective leadership, worker involvement and ongoing assessment and review.
The guide Worker Participation in OSH shows how workers can use their knowledge to liaise with managers to improve workplace safety and health. It outlines the respective roles, responsibilities and legal duties of workers, their representatives and employers.
Both guides contain ‘checklists’ for employers, employees and worker representatives. Also available is an iPad app, 'Working together – Healthy Workplaces Campaign', which includes valuable tools and resources for both workers and managers.
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