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Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
European Week for Safety and Health 2000
Keywords Health and safety, Ergonomics
The new millennium's first European week for Safety and Health is to take place in the UK in the week of 16-22 October 2000 to coincide with Back Care Week.
The week aims to reduce the problems of backpain and musculoskeletal disorders by increasing awareness, identifying solutions and supporting practical projects in the workplace. Musculoskeletal disorders and backpain, which cost the UK economy some £5 billion a year with over 119 million days lost from work each year, cause misery and suffering to tens of thousands of workers.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has teamed up with the National Back Pain Association, the TUC, CBI, the Departments of Health, Education and Employment, and Social Security, and the Health Education Board for Scotland to encourage employers and workers to reduce work-related ill health and injury.
Said HSE's Director of Information, Peter Rimmer: "Backpain and musculoskeletal disorders affect more people than any other industrial injury or disease. The week is an opportunity for people to sign up and take action to eliminate health and safety problems in their workplace."
The European Week has taken place three times - in 1996, 1997 and 1998. HSE has organised six Health and Safety Weeks including the three European Weeks - the first in 1992 to coincide with the European Year of Safety and Health, in 1994 to promote the "Lighten the Load" campaign, and in 1999 to coincide with the launch of Phase 4 of the "Good Health is Good Business" campaign.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (Bilbao) is organising this year's European Week in October 2000 on the theme of musculoskeletal disorders and backpain with an emphasis on small and medium sized firms (SMEs).
Member states are free to choose any week in October. Following consultation with the National Back Pain Association, European Week in the UK is planned for 16 October 2000 to coincide with Back Care Week (and to avoid the half-term holidays!).