The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) organised the 11th edition of the Good Practice Awards in which several hundred companies of all sizes from 29 countries in the EU and beyond competed. This year EU-OSHA rewarded the best examples of cooperation between managers and employees in risk prevention.
EU-OSHA announced the ten winners during the European conference ‘Small business and workplace safety and health: the challenge; the opportunity’, organised just one day after the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28 April) by the Irish Presidency of the European Union in Dublin. This was the first time EU-OSHA gave joint awards to both managers and workers, which is in line with the ongoing Healthy Workplaces Campaign on the topic of ‘Working together for risk prevention’.
‘The benefits of good occupational health and safety policies are still not always recognised at the individual company level in Europe, and especially among micro, small and medium-sized enterprises,’ said Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA. ‘This competition proved that it is possible that even a company with only seven employees can have innovative prevention solutions, as was the case with one of the Spanish award-winners,’ she added.
‘We would like to show that ideas and concepts developed by the winners of the Good Practice Award can be adapted across different industries and Member States and in organisations of different types and sizes’, stressed László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. ‘Taking stock of innovative solutions and best practices in Europe should also help us in the effort to further develop health and safety policies for the future.’
Winners of this edition were expected to show strong management leadership and active worker participation in safety and health. The organisations represent a wide variety of sectors, for example health care, retail, and agriculture. The ceremony was an occasion for the winners to exchange their good practices, such as the reduction of accidents in automobile production in Turkey, how staff well-being was improved at a technology company in Finland or how Irish dairy industry workers identified risks in their sector and tackled them.
During the event EU-OSHA also commended a further ten companies. A new booklet published today showcases the good practice initiatives they have implemented.
Awarded companies and organisations
voestalpine Rotec Group (Austria) for establishing a health and safety standard across different countries; Atlantica Leisure Group Ltd (Cyprus) for minimising accidents in the hotel industry; Rigshospitalet (Denmark) for improving the working environment in a large hospital; Oy SKF Ab, Muurame factory (Finland) for increasing staff well-being at a technology company; ArbeitsschutzPartnerschaft Hamburg (Germany) for finding health and safety solutions for companies in Hamburg; West Offaly Dairy Discussion Group (Ireland) for reducing hazards on dairy farms; Wehkamp.nl/Gezond Transport/EVO (Netherlands) for raising safety awareness among forklift truck drivers; SONAE (Portugal) for involving workers and managers in risk prevention at a retail group; PROTÓN ELECTRÓNICA SLU (Spain) for developing a risk prevention model for small companies; Tofaş Türk Otomobil Fabrikası A.Ş (Turkey) for reducing accidents in automobile production.
Commended companies and organisations
MAHLE Filtersysteme Austria GmbH (Austria) for encouraging workers to report safety problems; Lujatalo Oy (Finland) for reducing physical stress in the construction industry; Armor SA (France) for incorporating health and safety into corporate strategy; Hellenic Petroleum SA (Greece) for creating a culture of safety in oil refining; Construction Safety Partnership (Ireland) for improving safety standards at construction sites; GE Healthcare Norway AS (Norway) for making health and safety a priority for workers and managers; CEMEX Polska (Poland) for the management of the leadership to achieve accident prevention; U.S. Steel Košice, s.r.o. (Slovakia) for the effective reporting of safety issues at a large steel producer; Ascom d.o.o. (Slovenia) for reducing musculoskeletal problems in manufacturing; Step Change in Safety (United Kingdom) for improving workforce engagement in the offshore oil and gas industry.
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