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Home > News > October 2007 > 26 October 2007

Campaign aims to make workplaces safer

To mark this year's European Week for Safety and Health campaign 'Lighten the Load', health and safety minister Lord McKenzie of Luton joined trade union safety representatives and the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on a unionlearn course. The course focuses on learning tools to help prevent back pain and repetitive strain injury in the workplace.

The 'Lighten the Load' campaign aims to raise awareness and provide guidance for both managers and employees on how they can reduce the incidence of manual handling injuries in their workplaces.

Speaking from Congress House, London, Lord McKenzie said: "Every year more than 1.0 million workers in Great Britain suffer from back pain or repetitive strain injuries, making these the most common form of work related injury in the country. Partnership working and events such as this play a key role in making progress in reducing the number of workplace injuries."

Geoffrey Podger, chief executive of HSE said: "When employers and employees work together on health and safety issues, there can be real improvements. HSE is committed to raising awareness and reducing the incidence of work related MSD cases. Early next year we will be working on further planned initiatives with stakeholders."

Liz Rees, unionlearn trade union education manager said: "I am delighted to welcome Lord McKenzie to see at first hand what difference safety representatives are making in the workplace. Safety at work is a concern for every worker and employer as well as the TUC. Unionlearn together with trade unions are all playing a part to make workplaces safer."

Further information on Euro Week's 'Lighten the Load' campaign and reducing manual handling injuries in the workplace, as well as free access to manual handling assessment charts, case studies and advice is available on the HSE's dedicated web pages www.hse.gov.uk/campaigns/euroweek

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