Safety and health at work is everyone’s concern. It’s good for you. It’s good for business.
This is the message held by the Healthy Workplaces Campaign. Arranged by the European Agency for Safety at Health at Work (EU-OSHA), this campaign aims to provide and encourage practical guides and tools to promote health and safety in the EU workplace. This year’s theme is based on how ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’.
This Healthy Workforces Campaign applies the term ‘dangerous substance’ to any gas, liquid or solid substance that can be seen as a health and safety risk in the workplace. One serious example is the unloading and opening of freight containers which have been fumigated with chemicals to kill pests before shipping begins. The fact that most of these containers are never labelled and the health risks involved aren’t explained, is an example of why this theme is an important one to investigate.
The main goals of this Healthy Workplaces Campaign, include:
- Increasing awareness of the risks involved with these dangerous substances and explaining any misunderstandings that are commonly held.
- Promoting any practical tools and other practices capable of eliminating or substituting dangerous substances used.
- Raising awareness of any risks and methods of protection involved in carcinogen exposure.
- Targeting specific groups of workers, perhaps inexperienced or some exposed to high, unsafe levels of these substances and providing them with tailored information on relevant safety practices.
Some of the reasons why this is such an important theme can be seen by figures mentioned in the infographic, such as:
- How many deaths occur each year due to cancer caused by carcinogen exposure in the workplace?
- How many EU enterprises have to deal with exposure to hazardous chemicals or biological substances in the workplace?
- How many people believe their industry is not doing enough to deal with these problems and encourage a healthy workplace?