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December 15, 2006

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Agency director calls for united front

“We are all united in our efforts to reduce accidents, eliminate the pain and suffering caused by ill health, and to make our workplaces safe, healthy, and more productive,” Jukka Takala, the director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, told the IOSH Annual Dinner and Awards.

“There is a clear and well-established link between good jobs, a positive safety culture, low accident rates, and prosperity of individual companies and national economies,” added Dr Takala, an honorary vice-president of IOSH. “Britain and Manchester were the birthplace and heart of the industrial revolution — and all of its negative consequences for safety. Manchester today, and in particular, IOSH, could be the heart of a knowledge revolution in safety and health.”

Dr Takala went on to talk about the 2006 Safe Start campaign during European Week for Safety and Health and the 5000 young people, parents, and teachers who’d tested their safety knowledge, and watched demonstrations and films at Castel Sant’Angelo in Rome.

He also spoke about the huge media interest in Spain, the workshop and awards presentation for good practice in Krakow, Poland, the two conferences on Safe Start and noise at work in the Netherlands, and the annual health and safety conference in Kosice, Slovakia, which was also dedicated to the issue of young people.

“In a way, to have 25 countries all focusing on one objective, we need to create common values on safety culture. I know that IOSH grasped the opportunity of the European Week, and I applaud the Wiseup2work campaign, and the Speak Up competition, which were sponsored by IOSH this year.”

He concluded by reminding the audience: “We share a common goal and we are stronger if we stand united in our efforts to raise the standards of workplace safety and health, and improve the quality of jobs and the quality of work.”

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