Leadership and worker participation for improving occupational health and safety at work was the main topic on the agenda in discussions facilitated by the Cyprus Presidency during a Conference on Health and Safety at Work. The Conference was organised by the Department of Labour Inspection, in cooperation with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, and was held at the ‘Filoxenia’ Conference Centre, in Lefkosia (Nicosia) on October 18, 2012. It was attended, among others, by representatives of the European Employers and Workers Organisations and members of the Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.
The Conference entitled “Working together for the future of occupational safety and health in Europe” began with a presentation of examples of successful cooperation between management and workers for the improvement of occupational safety and health. The current state of play of occupational safety and health in Europe, as well as the progress in implementing the European Strategy on Safety and Health with a focus on the practical use of simple interactive risk assessment tools, were examined. Moreover, the Cyprus Presidency facilitated a discussion on ways to promote cooperation between management and workers, with participants exchanging viewpoints on the topic.
Honest and constructive social dialogue
Citing the priorities of the Cyprus Presidency on the social and employment policies and stressing the importance of social dialogue in the implementation of the ’Europe 2020’ Strategy for achieving smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus, Mr Georgios Papageorgiou, said:
“I believe that the close cooperation between employers and employees in the field of social protection, especially the protection from hazards at work, is the key component to achieve high level goals. At a national level, the health and safety issues must, notwithstanding any adverse economic conditions, continue to be handled through honest and constructive social dialogue between the social partners, a dialog that brings together different culture and conflicting interests”.
Employee participation key
The new European Strategy on health and safety at work 2013 - 2020 is currently under discussion, at the priority-setting phase. A document prepared by the Advisory Committee on Security and Health at Work for the European Commission, makes particular reference to the importance of consultation on management of occupational safety and health, considering employee participation to be a further key factor in successful health and safety at work-related risk management.
In this framework, the meeting is expected to contribute to an effective cooperation between employers and workers on the sensitive issue of occupational safety and health, particularly in times of economic crisis.
Representatives of the European Employers and Workers Organisations, members of the Board of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, members of the Pancyprian Council on Safety and Health, representatives from trade unions and employers organisations of Cyprus, as well as representatives from organisations and companies of the extended partners network for Safety and Health at Work of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance of Cyprus, took part in the Conference.
Ministry of Labour & Social Insurance
Telephone: +357 22401676