More than 100 partners commit to EU dangerous substances campaign
More than 100 organisations have pledged to be partners for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances campaign.
As many as 80,000 cancer deaths a year are attributed to work with carcinogenic substances in the EU according to the EU Roadmap on carcinogens.
To prevent these and other occupational illnesses arising from exposure to dangerous substances, a number of companies including DuPont Sustainable Solutions, the European Firefighters Unions Alliance and Siemens have partnered with EU-OSHA in the 2018-2019 Healthy Workplaces campaign, “Manage Dangerous Substances”.
The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of putting a stop to risks arising from dangerous substances and to dispel common misunderstandings. It also aims to raise awareness of the risks arising from exposure to carcinogens at work and target groups with workers who are at higher risk.
It is, for instance, not only materials labelled as hazardous that pose a threat to human health, but also more common substances such as flour in bakeries or silica dust on construction site, if they are not managed correctly.
The campaign also intends to promote more effective risk assessments and prevention, provide a better understanding of the risks associated with exposure to carcinogens at work, and inform companies and workers of legislation that is in place to protect them.
The partners will help promote the campaign by distributing materials and talking to workers personally to contributing to good practice exchange events and collaborating with national focal points. They can also take advantage of EU-OSHA’s online tools and resources to manage dangerous substances in their workplaces, including a dangerous substances e-tool.
Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA Director explained: “Many workers are unaware of the threat that contact with substances not labelled as hazardous can pose to their health.
“Our campaign seeks to inform them of all the risks posed by dangerous substances, not just the obvious ones, and to highlight the critical importance of risk assessment as a first step towards injury and ill health prevention.
“With 38% of EU enterprises concerned, exposure to dangerous substances must be eliminated or effectively managed to ensure the safety and health of workers and the economic success of businesses and society.
“By joining the campaign, the partners can improve their own practices, benefiting from the campaign’s wealth of good practice materials and the excellent opportunities for networking and sharing experiences,” added Dr Sedlatschek.
The full list of campaign partners can be found on the EU-OSHA website.
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