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European Week for Safety and Health at Work 2018: manage dangerous substances


Did you know that 38 % of European companies report using potentially dangerous chemical or biological substances in their workplaces? Celebrated from 22 to 28 October, this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work raises awareness of managing dangerous substances at the workplace. ECHA contributes to occupational safety by implementing REACH, the most comprehensive chemical legislation in the world. Over the past 10 years, REACH has significantly reduced workers’ exposure to harmful chemicals in the European Union.

Helsinki, 24 October 2018 – The theme of this year’s week for safety and health at work is tied to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces Campaign. The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of the importance of protecting workers from risks due to exposure to dangerous substances and to eliminate, or if this is not possible, manage the risks. It provides straightforward guidance on how to comply with legal requirements as well as practical tools and examples to support businesses.

ECHA contributes to the overall goal of improving worker safety by implementing EU chemicals legislation. REACH requires manufacturers and importers to collect and share information on the properties of their chemicals in the supply chain so that workers can handle them safely. Industry also needs to comply with protective measures required for substances of very high concern. Thanks to restricting dangerous substances under REACH, positive health impacts or removed risk has been estimated for at least 81,000 consumers and workers per year.

During the European Week, EU-OSHA together with its campaign partners run various activities across the EU and beyond, organising many events, including conferences, competitions, training sessions, exhibitions and networking and good practice events.

There are also many publications available in the campaign pages including topics such as substitution of dangerous substances and manufactured nanomaterials in the workplace. The Facts and figures section includes data visualisations of EU wide survey results on topics related to dangerous substances at work.

The campaign also offers many practical tools for companies including an online interactive risk assessment (OIRA) tool, which helps SMEs carry out a workplace risk assessment and implement appropriate preventive measures.

Visit the official campaign pages to find out more and to help spread the word.

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