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27th May 2005

Hold your sparks – the job is done safely

The voices of clinking and banging are echoing in the Fair Centre’s hall number six. Big machines and the banging of tin lift the decibel level occasionally up to high numbers. “Warning: Noise level in the area can exceed 85 db”, is stated in the railing of the working area. The competitors do not seem to mind the noise; after all, they are all equipped with proper protection gear.

Safety at workplace has been emphasized along the way the WorldSkills Competition, and it is also one of the evaluation criteria. Along with work safety projects and careful planning the competitors’ work should be both professional and safe.  And so it seems. Car painters wear breathing masks, the boys in Manufacturing Team Challenge (MTC) overalls and goggles, and some skill categories are carried out entirely in shelters. After all, also the audience’s safety has to be taken into account.

Finnish National Team listed the risk factors in their skill categories in last spring’s training camp to avoid risk situations to arise during the hectic competition. As a help to this was Occupational Health and Safety Excellence Passport developed in Skills Finland’s occupational health and safety project. Florist, Ms Birgitta Kulppi mentioned in the camp that the risk in her field is for example slipping caused by water or garbage. It is also possible that some smaller accidents happen with working equipment, such as knives. Now, during the competition, her work area is neat and the garbage and water are at places where they belong.

At the work area of Canadian Autobody Repairer, Mr Mark Millson the sparks are flying and the sound occasionally hurts the ears, but the man in question does not mind. Besides overall and protective gloves he wears a breathing mask and a mask to protect his face from burns. Although some of the working equipment might look frightening, no risky situations are spotted when circulating the Fair Centre. It seems obvious, that the competitors have gained knowledge and know-how to perform the work safely along with actual professionalism.

Text: Heli Ritola

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Updated 29.5.2005  © 2004 Skills Finland ry

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