Federation of Occupational Health Nurses
within the European Union
Est. 1993
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FOHNEU Meets the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work (EU-OSHA)

The 28th FOHNEU Board meeting was hosted by the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work at their offices in Bilbao on 29th – 31st October 2008.  The 3 day meeting was attended by 17 representatives from member countries and was divided into the normal FOHNEU business and presentations from the Agency heads of departments, providing the board with information about the agency's strategic plans and current and future campaigns.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) was established by Council Regulation (EC) No 2062/94 of 18 July 1994.[1] Located in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency has a dedicated staff of occupational safety and health (OSH), communication and administrative specialists. At the national level, EU-OSHA is represented through a network of Focal Points, which are usually the lead OSH bodies in the individual Member States.

The Agency is a tripartite organisation, which means that it works with governments, employers’ and workers’ representatives. It is a single reference point for OSH information. The Agency commissions, collects and publishes new scientific research and statistics on OSH risks.

The Agency shares good practice, and communicates information in a variety of ways to reach workers and workplaces. The Agency’s publicity campaigns include the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, which focuses on different themes. EU-OSHA also provides information on its website, via its electronic newsletter OSHmail, and in a range of printed publications.

Finally, the Agency looks out for risks which may only be emerging, due to the fast pace of change in the workplace. The European Risk Observatory aims to identify new and emerging risks. In order to do this, it provides an overview of safety and health at work in Europe, describes trends and underlying factors, and anticipates changes in work and their likely consequences for safety and health.

Additionally, it aims to stimulate debate and reflection among the Agency's stakeholders, and to provide a platform for debate between policy-makers at various levels.

FOHNEU, which represents Occupational Health Nurses in the European Union, is already a partner to the Agency’s MSD campaign. The federation is also in discussions on becoming more involved in the Agency’s future campaigns. Occupational Health Nurses in Europe have daily access to the workforce in the full range of work environments. It makes good sense both in human and monitory terms to protect the health and safety of employees through active campaigns in support of the Agency’s plans.

The outcomes of safe working practices through health promotion activities are also important factors in the prevention of avoidable ill health and in the reduction of accidents and near misses in working environments. Working in conjunction with management and employees, occupational health professionals have an important role to play. Small and medium sized enterprises (SME) however sometimes have difficulties in obtaining the support they need in compliance with health and safety legislation. This is being addressed in different ways by various Member States of the EU.

To view the presentations given by EU-OSHA departments click on the names below;

Brenda O'Brien, Brussels Liaison Officer.

Terry N Taylor, Head of the Working Environment Information Unit.

Eusebio Rial-Gonzalez, Head of the Risk Observatory Unit.

Marta Urrutia, Corporate Promotions Manager, Communication and Promotion Unit.

Zinta Podniece, Project Manager, Working Environment Information Unit, Occupational Health Promotion.

FOHNEU Would Like to Hear from YOU

FOHNEU would be interested to hear from Occupational Health Nurses who have produced a good case study or similar on Risk Assessments which is one of the current campaigns of the Agency.

We are also interested to hear of good case studies on the promotion of young workers health at work or mental health promotion at the workplace.

For example of case study please see the case studies on prevention of work-related MSDs at:

http://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/TE8107132ENC_data/chapter_2-examples_of_practical_workplace_interventions

If you have any information on examples of good occupational health practices in relation to the above or on any aspect of occupational health and safety in the workplace, contact FOHNEU at;

 http://ww.fohneu.org/contact/

or

Your country’s representative in FOHNEU at:

 http://www.fohneu.org/members/

Bernie Jackson
Vice President

Reference:  Draft EU-OSHA Strategy 2009-13
[1] Amended by Council Regulation (EC) No 1643/95 of 29 June 1995, Council Regulation (EC) No 1654/2003 of 18 June 2003 and Council Regulation (EC) No 1112/2005 of 24 June 2005.

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