In its 2013 annual report, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) outlines all the work it performed: publications, information campaigns, interactive tools, strengthening its network of national focal points, etc. It is satisfied that it was able to carry out its projects and contribute, this year again, to the promotion of occupational risk prevention in an adverse economic climate.
Reports on sectors undergoing development
In 2013, EU-OSHA published several reports on occupational safety and health (OSH) in green jobs, which are expanding strongly in Europe. The main report was followed by a series of more specific reports concerning wind power, green buildings and solar energy.
A campaign on psychosocial risks (PSR)
In 2013, the Agency prepared its 2014-2015 information campaign on PSR prevention, focusing on stress. It chose to target micro-enterprises and SMEs, supported by guides published in all the EU languages on its website.
Tools to help SMEs assess occupational risks
Since 2011 the Agency has proposed sector-specific IT applications called OiRA (for “Online interactive Risk Assessment”). These online tools, very easy-to-use, guide the user in his risk assessment approach and offer him risk prevention solutions adapted to his business to build his action plan. In 2013, nine new tools were developed for:
- Hairdressing in Belgium and Portugal;
- Driving schools and leather and tanning workshops in Spain;
- Automotive repairs in Lithuania;
- Restaurants and catering in France and Greece;
- Office work in Latvia;
- The private security sector throughout the EU.
The tools are produced by national organizations of the EU Member States, in the national language. Over the years this application has proved a real success.
Strengthening the network of national focal points
EU-OSHA wants to strengthen its links with the focal points despite an adverse economic climate. For example, in 2013 it organized visits to Lithuania and Finland to demonstrate the importance of the work of the focal points to governments and social partners. The Agency also encourages the organizations of EU accession countries to join the network and take part in its activities.
The Agency has commissioned a summary of current and emerging OSH problems in the field of healthcare and home care services. The results are expected to be published at the end of 2014.
In October, EU-OSHA will launch its major annual campaign, devoted to PSR prevention. In addition to the guide, which will be available in all the EU languages on the Agency’s website, two reports designed to give a better understanding of PSR will also be available in the second half of 2014.