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Contributed by: Skills Finland

Eight organisations from across Europe have won prestigious “Good Practice Awards” for improving health and safety for young workers. The European “Good Practice Awards 2006” were given to acknowledge the positive contributions made to promote the occupational safety and health of young people. One of the awarded organisations was Skills Finland with its “Passport to health and safety skills: resources and competition”. The winners received their awards at the closing ceremony of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work on 22 March in the Euskalduna Centre, Bilbao. On behalf of Skills Finland the award was received by Project Manager Ms Riikka Ruotsala and Director General, The Finnish National Board of Education and Vice President of Skills Finland Ms Kirsi Lindroos. 

Passport to health and safety skills

FI_Certificate.gifThe Excellence in Health and Safety at Work project was coordinated by Skills Finland and carried out in cooperation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, and funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Veto Programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. An educational package called ‘Passport to health and safety skills’ was developed with health and safety included for the first time in the WorldSkills 2005 Competition

The aim was to develop health and safety material to support teaching and learning, and to plan practical tools for promoting occupational safety and health in the education of young people in vocational schools and on-the job training.

For the first time in the 50-year history of the WorldSkills Competition explicit safety instructions were drawn up and occupational safety and health (OSH) was a significant factor in the evaluation process. All Technical Delegates of the 40 participating countries were provided with instructions on OSH.

Running competitions and coaching young competitors was found to be an excellent method for promoting occupational safety and health. The competitions involved enterprises and educational establishments from about 40 different skills, and promoted cooperation between schools and businesses.  Through this co-operation both partners became more aware of the importance of OSH issues at work and for workers’ health. Young competitors who were awarded are good role models for students in vocational education and for other young people at the start of their work careers.

Other awarded organisations came from Austria, Denmark, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom.

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