In view of a recent spike in work related accidents the Technical Chamber (Etek) has expressed concern at the lack of a ‘safety culture’ on the island.
Seven people have lost their lives in labour accidents so far this year. Reversing a previous significant improvement in the frequency of work accidents, in the past two years there has been an increase both in the number of work-related accidents and the number of workers killed on the job, it said.
The Technical Chamber has placed health and safety high up on its list of priorities and intensified its efforts in this direction. As part of its participation in the Pancyprian Health and Safety Council, it recently submitted specific proposals to reduce the number of labour accidents and work related illnesses.
It has also signed up as an official partner of Vision Zero, a global campaign of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) and is urging companies and organisations of the public and private sector to adopt the strategy and sign up to its seven golden rules.
ISSA has developed a range of resources to support the Vision Zero Campaign and the seven golden rules of Vision Zero:
- Take leadership – demonstrate commitment
- Identify hazards – control risks
- Define targets – develop programmes
- Ensure a safe and healthy system –be well-organized
- Ensure safety and health in machines, equipment and workplaces
- Improve qualifications – develop competence
- Invest in people – motivate by participation
The Technical Chamber said the increase in accidents, particularly fatalities had made it essential to intensify efforts to promote a culture of safety and strict compliance with the law by all.
The state must also increase the resources it makes available to achieve this aim, particularly to raise awareness and increase monitoring. Employers and professionals must make health and safety a priority, it added.
It called on all its member engineers to make safety a top priority and comply faithfully with the law and also urged employers to adhere to safety and health laws.
It added that it will continue to support authorities’ efforts and cooperate in achieving the target of zero accidents.