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Safe maintenance campaign officially launched

25 January 2013

In some European countries as much as 20% of all workplace accidents are connected with maintenance and in a number of sectors over half of all accidents are maintenance-related...

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has launched its new Healthy Workplaces Campaign for 2010/11, promoting safe maintenance across Europe. In some European countries as much as 20% of all workplace accidents are connected with maintenance and in a number of sectors over half of all accidents are maintenance-related.

Maintenance is essential to prevent workplace risks, but it is itself a high risk activity for the workers that carry it out. It is estimated that in Europe 10-15% of fatal accidents at work can be attributed to maintenance operations. It is vital, therefore, that maintenance is carried out properly, taking into consideration workers' safety and health.

Launching the Campaign at the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels, Dr Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, alongside the EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Mr László Andor, outlined the campaign's objectives and the basic rules for safe maintenance as a key contribution to healthy workplaces.

Mr Andor giving his backing to the Campaign, said: “Maintenance is a daily part of every workplace and sector. The 20% of accidents currently linked to maintenance is too high and shows it's an area where we have to raise awareness and step up our efforts". He added: "Our overall strategy is to cut all work-related accidents in the EU by 25% over the coming years. This campaign will help to raise awareness about maintenance-related risks, saving lives across Europe and bringing us closer to our overall goal for safer and healthier workplaces”.

Poorly managed maintenance activities and procedures raise the risks of workplace accidents, including fatal accidents, involving workers at all levels across a wide range of industries. In one of the worst incidents of its kind in Europe, the Piper Alpha disaster of 1988 saw the North Sea oil and gas platform turned into a blazing inferno within seconds, killing 167 workers - a tragic example of the potential consequences of inadequate maintenance procedures.

You can download the official campaign guide and other campaign materials (presentations, publications and promotional material in 22 languages) and find campaign events that will be happening near you, on the Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2010/11 website: Safe Maintenance campaign website
 
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