2010-2011 campaign of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
14 h 20 min in News , Information by admin
For Safer Maintenance
Maintenance, whether industrial or immovable, proves to be the most risk-prone activity, in terms of frequency, severity, fatalities and occupational diseases. This is illustrated by surveys carried out by AFIM (French Association of Engineers and Maintenance Managers) in France, by the AEM (Associacion Espanola de Mantenimento) in Spain and by BEMAS (Belgian Maintenance Association) Belgium. In France, the rate of fatal accidents in maintenance is close to and sometimes exceeds that of construction.
A survey carried out by the INRS on the total number of fatal work accidents (excluding road accidents) recorded in France during 2002 revealed that 44% of these accidents were linked to a maintenance operation (data sheet INRS ED 123).
Accidents involving industrial and immovable maintenance workers, who constitute about 2.5% of the French salaried population, represent about 14.5% of the French Social Security expenditure on accidents at work.
The main causes of occupational illness among maintenance workers are cancers due to asbestos or chemicals, noise deafness and musculoskeletal disorders.
The populations most at risk are subcontractors, temporary workers and young workers (50% of accidents occur in the youngest segment representing 20% of the total number of employees).
Among the maintenance occupations, the most exposed are of course those who are in direct contact with the installations to be maintained: fitters, pipe fitters, boilermakers, welders, electricians.
Serious accidents occur most frequently in short – term emergency repairs, which are often poorly prepared and executed in a hurry (as revealed by a survey carried out in Belgium), particularly during the re – installation
Worse yet, many disasters are due to poor maintenance, such as the DC19 crash of AA 191 in 1979 (271 deaths – poor engine attachment), the Piper Alpha platform fire in 1988 ( The explosion of the BP refinery in Texas City in 2005 (15 deaths, 180 serious injuries – faulty instrumentation), hull corrosion causing the “Erika” sinking in 1999 (pollution by 30,000 tons Of residual fuel), or even the lack of maintenance, as at Bhopal in 1988 (3787 deaths – leakage on a methylisocyanate container), or very recently the rupture of the unsupported dam in a basin of red mud of alumina in Hungary.
The current situation where, under the constraint of budgetary constraints, the existing facilities must be kept to a minimum for lack of investment, savings on preventive maintenance, reduction of staff, replacement of old workers who are familiar with their installations Retirement, by cheap subcontractors, results in a sharp drift. According to the AFIM surveys, by comparison of the comparable, from 1996 to 2006 maintenance budgets were reduced by 10% while accidents at work increased by 50%.
In many countries the situation concerning young workers is aggravated by the fact that safety education is practically non-existent in technical and vocational education (apart from the case of electricians, subject to the enabling procedures) .
Such a situation is of great concern to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, which decided to devote its 2010-2011 campaign to the theme of “Safe Maintenance” after having devoted its 2008 campaign -2009 to the theme “Risk Assessment”.
The French text of a recent communication from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work is reproduced below, after updating and some supplements:
A European Week for Safety at Work that gives priority to safer maintenance work
The European Week for Safety and Health at Work this year, which started on Monday 25 October, is devoted to safer maintenance work, and is centered around hundreds of conferences, exhibitions and training sessions organized by the Agency For Occupational Safety and Health (EU-OSHA) in more than 30 European countries.
In France, two safety awareness seminars are scheduled for 2010 and 2011 as part of the European Week for Health and Safety at Work. The first of these two events took place on 26 October 2010 at the Palais des Congrès in Arcachon. France also participated in the European Best Practice Competition by sending to the Bilbao Agency two dossiers presenting original prevention solutions in the shipbuilding sector and industrial process control activities.
According to the Director of EU-OSHA, Mr Jukka Takala, with rates of up to 20% in terms of occupational accidents due to maintenance operations, it is clear that making maintenance work safer is A key element of the campaign on healthy workplaces. “Scientific studies show that occupational diseases and other work-related health problems such as asbestosis, cancer, hearing problems or musculoskeletal disorders are more common among workers involved in maintenance activities” ,did he declare. “To ensure the health and safety of all workers wherever they are, it is imperative that we take full advantage of all the opportunities we have to educate the public about the importance of safer maintenance ‘Europe.”
During these events, interested parties learn how to properly carry out maintenance work – in a safe and healthy manner. Bringing together representatives of governments, business and the general public highlights the importance of safer maintenance work in different sectors and across borders.
During this European Week, the 30 new official partners of the campaign play a key role: a wide range of companies and associations from the private and public sectors, including the most renowned companies in Europe, have joined Their strengths to those of the Agency to promote the promotion of safer maintenance practices through various activities.
“Such a variety of events have been organized across Europe so that no one can escape the message from the plant shop to the board: maintenance work must be safer to ensure Healthy workplaces, “said Mr. Takala.
For more information on the European Week and organized activities, visit the website “Healthy Workplaces” at the following address: http://hw.osha.europa.eu
1. The mission of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is to make Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. EU-OSHA was established by the European Union to help meet information needs in the area of occupational safety and health. EU-OSHA, headquartered in Bilbao, Spain, aims to improve the lives of people at work by stimulating the flow of technical, scientific and economic information between all persons and bodies concerned Issues related to occupational safety and health.
It has a relay in all the country of Europe, called “Focal Point”. The role of Focal Point for France is assured by the Directorate General of Labor (DGT)
The Agency’s website is: http://osha.europa.eu
The texts published by the Agency are translated into all the languages used by the Member States of the European Union (with the exception of the detailed studies in English).
2. The Campaign “Healthy Workplaces” 2010-2011, coordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work and its partners in the 27 EU Member States, supports a wide range of activities at national level And European level to promote safer maintenance work. It stresses the importance of maintenance work (plants, equipment, machinery and workplaces) to eliminate hazards in the workplace and to ensure safer and healthier working conditions in the workplace. all of Europe. It is supported by the Spanish and Belgian presidencies of the EU in 2010 and Hungary and Poland in 2011 by the European Parliament and the European Commission and by the European social partners.
You can now follow us on Twitter, visit the Agency’s blog or subscribe to our monthly OSHmail newsletter. You can also sign up for regular EU-OSHA news and information via the RSS feed.
Comment: Information from the European Agency
You can freely download the information from the Agency website: http://osha.europa.eu , selecting the European language of your choice.
We strongly advise:
1 – The Guide to the 2010-2011 campaign, giving detailed information (20 pages). To get it, tap Google: “European Agency – Campaign Guide”
2 – Fact Sheets:
88 facts on safe maintenance (workers):
89 facts on safe maintenance (employers):
90 Facts, maintenance safety statistics:
3 – Factsheets on safety education:
Facts 82 academically:
Facts 91 academically:
Seminar “Work of Safer Maintenance”
(Arcachon, Tuesday, October 26, 2010)
The Vice-President of SOFIOM, our colleague Gérard Neyret, who is also Vice-President of AFIM (French Association of Engineers and Maintenance Managers), and animator of the Health, Safety and Environment Committee of the EFNMS European National Societies of Maintenance) was invited to take part in the Seminar “Safer Maintenance Work”, carried out within the framework of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work.
He tells us about this seminar and his teachings.
The DGT decided to decentralize this seminar in the Aquitaine region under the supervision of ARACT Aquitaine (Regional Agency for the Improvement of Working Conditions), DGT being represented by the DIRECCTE Aquitaine (Regional Directorate for Enterprises , Competition, Consumption and Employment).
The site chosen was the Palais des Congrès of Arcachon.
The session began with a presentation of the Campaign by the representative of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, followed by three main themes:
Theme 1 – Organize safer maintenance. Consideration of health and regulatory issues
Theme 2 – Implement a robust and resilient organization that takes into account the human factor
Theme 3 – Round table, between representatives of ANACT, INRS, MASE corporate certification, ICSI (Institute for an Industrial Safety Culture, SELF (Language Ergonomics Society French), the AFIM and the EFNMS
The moderator was a journalist from Les Echos.
Presentations, debates and suggestions were rich, but difficult to summarize.
In terms of worker occupational diseases, over-representation of cancers related to the use of chemicals, noise-related deafness, and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)
In terms of organizing, preventing and monitoring regulations, the difficulties of small businesses. Regulatory Prevention Plans are often absent, particularly in property maintenance
In terms of risks, the high probability of accidents in emergency repairs, especially in the event of abandonment of preventive maintenance (it is urgently necessary to repair when it breaks)
In terms of the human factor, the loss of experience related to the replacement of maintenance internally by subcontracting. Moreover subcontracting in cascade (sub-sub-sub-contractors) makes inextricable follow-up and subcontracting coordination. We always talk about choosing the best bidder among the subcontractors, but in fact we always choose the lowest bidder, with the inevitable results of this choice (“we do not have a Mercedes for the price of a Trabant “). One result is that often occupational safety and health problems are masked
In terms of training, unprepared young people for risk, reduced custody of experienced workers, total ignorance of the field of safety by the ultimate decision makers of a company
In terms of equipment design, maintainability is rarely taken into account (such as ease of access for interventions.) To take a brief example, why always install sockets at ground level, which leads installers To have to work lying down, the users to bend in two to connect a male plug, and small children to be able to too easily access it ???)
Tracks to follow
The basic cause was ignorance: ignorance of the products handled and their effects. The legislation now imposes in each establishment the product sheets, in particular to identify the CMR products (carcinogenic, mutagenic, reprotoxic – ref documentary document INRS 2168-187-02), the packaging of which carries a specific symbol
Small and medium enterprises
The idea is to pool the CHSCT by professional branch in a given region, to give them the critical size to face the extent of their responsibility
The road patrol .
The financial and reputational losses associated with so-called “savings” on preventive maintenance must be highlighted. AFIM, in collaboration with the CRAM of Alsace-Moselle and the Louis Pasteur University of Strasbourg-Schiltigheim, has developed software for the evaluation of risks specific to short-term maintenance operations, Access is free (see www.afim.asso.fr)
Progress has already been made by setting up a single reference system for the health and safety certification of subcontractors (MASE: Safety and Insurance Manual for Enterprises), and the creation of GIEs focusing on safety. Large region contractors and subcontractors
The improvement of the health and safety of subcontractors’ personnel requires a modification of the 1975 law to involve the responsibility of the contractors on their site.
Abroad various provisions demonstrate their effectiveness:
– obligation of a “safety passport” for each employee, certifying its safety training
– prior information of employees of subcontractors in their language
– consider employees of contractors like those of the company in the health and safety Plan
– prohibiting a subcontractor sub-subcontract without the consent of the client
– a tutor-coordinator of the payer in responsible for monitoring contractors in an area
– wide sanctions for defaulting subcontractor safety
In terms of training, at both ends of the scale:
– education of youth safety during their schooling
– “booster shots” of experienced workers
– safety training of decision-makers (CEOs, boards Administration, financial), appropriate to their role
The highlighting by the AFIM surveys of the frequency of hand accidents caused by the hitting key led a tool manufacturer to produce a protective device
It remains to be invented, for maintenance personnel:
Safety glasses adapted to employees to wear corrective glasses (cf Belgian experience): it is not possible to superimpose conveniently safety glasses and corrective glasses
Helmets adapted to maintainers called to work in any position (kneeling or lying down), to prevent them from falling at this time of their head (extrapolation of helmets of speleologists?)
In spite of their cost, it is necessary to generalize, in spite of their cost, the use of helmets with filtering ear protectors enabling conversation, without passing the ambient noise (the worker with simple ear plugs and having to communicate with a colleague must necessarily Remove them to converse …)
The remoteness of both engineering firms and financial decision-makers from the concrete realities of the field leads to sometimes minor, sometimes major, design errors with far-reaching consequences. The remedy is to facilitate the movements of designers in the field, and to accustom them to listen and to take account of the opinion of the users (feedback)
This brief report can unfortunately only reflect part of the wealth of presentations and debates.
The attention given by the audience, the variety of speakers, the quality of the interventions and their relevance were high-level, as were the views expressed by the assistants, who were already numerous (about 200), but who would have Even more so if transport difficulties did not dissuade a number of them.
It remains to be hoped that the original ideas and points of view expressed will make their way and follow.
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