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EU-OSHA announces 10th European Good Practice Awards on World Day for Safety and Health at Work

May 2011

At the 10th European Good Practice Awards, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) recognised and rewarded the outstanding contribution to safe maintenance made by eight organisations and companies from across Europe. Part of EU-OSHA's Healthy Workplaces Campaign on Safe Maintenance, the awards were presented at a ceremony hosted by the Hungarian Presidency of the European Union on the World Day for Safety and Health at Work (28th April 2011).

Entries were received from organisations of all sizes, and from a wide variety of industrial sectors, keen to demonstrate and share their good practice examples. A new booklet published today showcases the good practices implemented by the eight winners and fifteen commended companies.

"The winning companies and organisations have made exceptional contributions to promoting safe maintenance good practice," said László Andor, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. "These good practices are in line with our Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work (2007-2012) which - as well as targeting occupational ill health - aims to cut work-related accidents by a quarter across the EU."

Welcoming the positive economic impact of safe maintenance, Mr Kolos Kardkovács, Secretary of State for Employment, representing the Hungarian EU Presidency, said: "A lack of proper maintenance can have serious safety consequences, ultimately impacting productivity and profitability. By according sufficient time and resources to safe maintenance, the award winners are proactively protecting the interests of their businesses and their employees for years to come."

Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, praised the high quality of the entries: "Our network of focal points in participating Member States and Turkey received hundreds of good practice examples, with the very best national examples taken forward to the European level Good Practice Awards. The eight winners and fifteen commended companies all demonstrate the crucial role regular maintenance plays in eliminating workplace hazards and managing risks, underlining the key messages of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign."

The eight winners are Voestalpine Hytronics GmbH and Voestalpine Weichensysteme GmbH (Austria, iron and steel production) for their use of technology and organisation to achieve safer maintenance; Protón Electrónica SLU (Spain, electrical equipment) for coordinating repair and maintenance with the client; Actavis Ltd (Malta, pharmaceutical products) for its proactive and reactive interventions to improve maintenance safety; Skellefteå Räddningstjänst (Sweden, fire services) for its development of safe work routines for firefighters; Sonae (Portugal, retail trade) for its management of preventative and corrective maintenance; GHT - Glass Handling Technic Vof (Netherlands, Horticulture) for maintaining and repairing horticultural glasshouses safely and effectively; Tarmac Quarry Materials (United Kingdom, mining and quarrying) for its competent maintenance teams and STIB-MIVB (Belgium, transport) for its comprehensive approach to maintenance starting from the design of the work area.