EU and US health and safety agencies launch joint website

A website on health and safety at work has been set up to provide employers with easy access to information that will help them protect their staff from accidents and injuries. The joint venture between agencies in the US and Europe was launched as the Health and Safety Commission announced a fall in the number […]

A website on health and safety at work has been set up to provide employers with easy access to information that will help them protect their staff from accidents and injuries.

The joint venture between agencies in the US and Europe was launched as the Health and Safety Commission announced a fall in the number of reported accidents at work. But it admitted there was still a long way to go to reach reduction targets.

Annual figures from the HSC show that the estimated number of major injuries at work has fallen from 29,053 last year to 28,939 this year. The number of deaths is down from 253 to 218.

Bill Callaghan, chair of the HSC said the fall is encouraging but more needs to be done to ensure targets set by the government and the HSC last month in their Revitalising Health and Safety Strategy are met. The targets include a 10% reduction in fatal and major injuries, a 30% reduction in working days lost and a 20% drop in work-related ill health by 2010.

`The commission and the Health and Safety Executive will do all we can to help achieve at least this level of improvement, but we cannot do it alone,’ said Callaghan. `I want to see employers, unions and others commit themselves to agreed and sustainable targets for improvement and to make these targets fully operational, not just aspirational.’ He added that there was an encouraging fall in fatal injuries in manufacturing.

The website, which has been set up by the health and safety agencies of the European Union and the US government, pulls together research, statistics and best practice guidance from across the world.

Charles Jefress, assistant secretary of the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration said: `Both OSHA and its EU counterpart have assembled a wealth of information on successful ways to prevent occupational injuries and illnesses. We’re pleased to have such a facility for sharing information.’

www.osha.eu.int/eu-us

Dominique Hammond writes for Personnel Today

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