To speak about the importance of managing health and safety risk in companies might be considered superfluous. Still, we found that the process of keeping workers safe is a process of continuous learning and improvement. The expertise of the health and safety profession is widely recognized. By bringing this expertise into public debates, conferences and publications enhances the contribution made by HSE experts to strengthening the field.
In Romania there are a number of policies, legislation and standards that need updates when addressing the issues of health and safety in general. Through initiatives and legislation change proposals of industry associations, private organizations and companies, we have the opportunity to start a culture change, to build programmes that encourage employers and employees to be more proactive in supporting rules and regulations and take personal responsibility in staying healthy.
The call for more rigorous legislative requirements is prompting businesses to question how they can respond effectively and provide a better, safer environment for people to work in.
Also, there is a clear shift to move away from safety being about “compliance” and towards something that businesses can use as a differentiator to create competitive advantage, as after all, a healthy organization starts with healty workers.
A study concerning serious and fatal accidents at work in the European Union, published by ESAW (European Statistics on Accidents at Work), states that over 2.7 million serious accidents and almost 3,700 fatal accidents took place at work time in the EU. Researchers place Romania second, with no less than 4 fatal accidents per 100,000 employees in 2015.
The highest incidence of fatal accidents at work was recorded in Portugal at 4.3 deaths per 100,000 persons employed, while the third place was occupied by Latvia with 3.6 deaths per 100,000 employees.
On the other hand, Romania registers one of the lowest reported rates for the total number of serious accidents at work, with under 100 serious work accidents per 100,000 persons employed.
Still, the number of work accidents in Romania saw a constant increase in the last few years, with 3,604 persons having been injured in 2014 of whom 185 died, 4,300 injured in 2015 and 183 deaths, while in the first 9 months of 2016 the total number of injuries reported was 3,317 and 96 deaths, reveal the statistic figures made public by the Work Inspection.
The frequency index (the number of injured in 1,000 workers) was also on the rise, from 0.76 in 1,000 for the total of the persons having suffered an accident in 2014 to 0.89 in 2015 and 0.88 for the first nine months of 2016 ( last available data at print date).