European Week for Safety and Health at Work puts spotlight on safe maintenance

24.10.2011 7.09
News item N5-58552
The European Week for Safety and Health at Work is celebrated from 24 to 28 October. The week is part of the two-year Healthy Workplaces Campaign with the focus on maintenance work. The purpose of the campaign is to awaken workplaces to improve safety in cleaning and maintenance work.

According to a study conducted in Finland, maintenance work is perceived as physically stressful: 61% of cleaners and 36% of property maintenance operatives consider their work to be physically hard. Ergonomic and work planning problems are found to be the most serious risks in maintenance work. This is explained by the fact that maintenance work is often performed in other people's workplace.

Maintenance includes both repair and prevention of faults and defects. Maintenance of plants, equipment, machines and the work environment helps eliminate hazards in the workplace. Service and maintenance work is performed in nearly all workplaces and it plays an important role in making workplaces safer. Well-maintained machines and equipment are safer for users but, on the other hand, there are many accidents in maintenance work. Even 20% of occupational accidents are associated with maintenance.

On assignment of the European Union, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (the Bilbao Agency) has since 2000 annually organized safety and health campaigns in the member states.

Further information

Senior Officer Hannu Ståhlhammar, tel. 0400 635 081, [email protected]