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Occupational Health and Safety goes with top know-how

Occupational health and safety has been raised to one of the themes of WorldSkills 2005 Helsinki competition, because professional skill competitions may also work as a good way of influence in developing occupational health and safety skills. From the point of view of professional skill competitions and competition performances,  exemplary management of occupational  safety communicates an important message about vocational skills: top skills and craftsmanship mean not only that the work is performed quickly and carefully but that it is done safely, without putting one’s own or other people’s safety or health at risk.

The goal of the WorldSkills 2005 Helsinki event is to set an example as a model country of top know-how in occupational safety. The aim of the Occupational Health and Safety Excellence Project (2004-2005) is to promote occupational health and safety skills as part of the development of top-notch vocational skills and occupational skills competitions. The central task of the project has been promoting training for youth, developing occupational safety in professional skill competitions, and training the competition specialists in the field of occupational health and safety. In the WorldSkills competition, occupational safety co-operation has been undertaken e.g. with industrial safety districts.

Occupational safety at the WorldSkills competition is very much related with designing, constructing and realizing the competition areas and posts safely. A central part is also the competitors’ safe performances, where know-how of occupational safety is shown for example in ergonomically correct working positions, managing of machinery and appliances safely, and use of safety devices. When the competition tenses towards the end, may unnecessary risktaking be shown in the work performances, which may possibly be competitively impressive, but in the sense of occupational safety it gives a wrong picture from the action of a professional. Additionally, it is bothersome for the competition and competitors if a unique showcase is in jeopardy because of neglect and carelessness.  A well prepared competition task and evaluation criteria makes a difference between the competitors without unsafe working. In that case the winner will be the one who works not only quickly and carefully, but also safely.

The WorldSkills competition offers a unique showcase also to cultural differences of working methods and to observing occupational safety. “Internationality of the event brings its own interest and challenges to the safety of the competition. Occupational safety issues have been emphasized by giving instructions of the Finnish safety customs to the competing teams in advance. An important role is also in general and skill-specific safety training given on the spot.” says Project Manager Riikka Ruotsala.        

Occupational safety is also handled in the Global Skills Village, where an international seminar is held about the safety aspects of vocational training on 27th May.

The Occupational Health and Safety Excellence Project is co-ordinated by Skills Finland. The project is realised in co-operation with the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. The project is funded by the Finnish Work Environment Fund and the Veto programme of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health.

Further information:
Project Manager Riikka Ruotsala
Tel. +358 400 431 547


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Updated 28.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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