European Agency Announces Grants to Cut Accidents in Small Businesses

Winners of grants in a new program aimed at cutting accidents in small- and medium-sized businesses are announced by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work this week announced the grant winners in a new program aimed at cutting accidents among European small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs).

A total of 51 projects - 16 European-wide and 35 national - will receive grants ranging from 25,000 to 190,000 Euro dollars under the program, which the agency launched earlier this year.

Over 450 national and EU organizations applied for funding. Examples of successful projects include: a Greek initiative involving British and Danish partners (accident prevention helpline for SMBs); an Irish program (pilot safety training program in the Irish meat trade); and an Italian project (demonstration and promotion of good safety practice at construction sites).

"I am delighted at the range and quality of projects submitted under this scheme. Work-related accidents - especially in small- and medium-sized businesses -are still one of the EU''s most pressing safety and health issues," said Hans-Horst Konkolewsky, director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. "These projects will provide and promote practical information on how to reduce the disproportionately high accident rate in these enterprises."

The budget for the new program was allocated to the agency by a decision of the European Parliament at the end of last year. The program provides co-funding for initiatives that encourage SMBs to adopt good occupational safety and health practices. This could be accomplished either through training, information campaigns or the development of effective health and safety practices, focusing on priority hazards and high-risk industry sectors.

You can find full details of all the projects that received funding on the European Agency''s Web site at osha.eu.int/sme.

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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