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Successful prevention of risks during construction
Good Practice Awards 2004

May 2004

25 countries to take part in European health and safety award scheme

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, has invited nominations for the fifth European Good Practice Awards in occupational safety and health. The 2004 award scheme will recognise companies or organisations that have made outstanding and innovative contributions to the prevention of risks from construction and building activities.

Good practice examples are implemented solutions to prevent the exposure of workers to risks during construction activities. All entries should show good management, particularly the effective use of risk assessment and implementation of its findings, and be focused on 'successful prevention of risks to workers'. Entries are invited from all areas of building and maintenance work, not just construction and examples may come from different stages of the construction process - from the initial design and planning stage right through to the work place or worksite phase. They can be submitted by workplaces or by intermediary organisations, including chambers of commerce, trade and professional associations and trade unions.

The Director of the European Agency, Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, said 'Construction is one of Europe's largest industries, with an annual turnover in excess of €900 billion. Unfortunately it also has one of the worst occupational safety and health records. This has to change and the good practice awards aim to demonstrate, by example, to all European employers and workers the benefits of following good safety and health practice in building tomorrow's Europe.'

This is the fifth year of the awards, which come under the umbrella of the annual European Week for Safety and Health at Work. This year's awards will also be open to the new Member States - which means that a total of 25 countries will be taking part. The Agency will announce the winners at the week's closing event in November. The awards will provide the winners with European recognition for their role in improving working conditions in Europe.

The Week, which will take place 18 - 22 October 2004, is an information campaign designed to raise awareness and promote activities to make Europe a safe and healthy place to work. It is coordinated by the European Agency and will be run in the Member States, acceding, EFTA and candidate. The Week is aimed at the workplace and all safety and health institutions and organisations, trade unions, companies, managers, employees and safety representatives are invited to take part and organise their own activities. These can include special audits and risk assessment activities in the workplace, organising training, distributing information material, launching a new workplace policy, suggestion schemes, encouraging participation of employees and their representatives or linking-up with other organisations, businesses or sub contractors to carry out activities in partnership. The slogan of EW2004 is "Building in safety".

For the purposes of the Agency's European Week on Safety and Health at Work 2004, the campaign refers to all construction-related activities, and includes activities such as building, works of engineering, construction and demolition. By defining it as construction activities, the week therefore includes: the maintenance of buildings (including the management of buildings containing asbestos), repairs to buildings, painting and decorating, the renovation of ancient monuments, road repair and pipeline work.

Further information about the awards is detailed in a leaflet available online at http://ew2004.osha.europa.eu

Contact: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Gran Via 33, E-48009 Bilbao, Spain | Tel: + 34 94 479 4360 | Fax: + 34 94 479 4383 | Email: information@osha.eu.int