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Stop That Noise!

October 26, 2005
This is the European week for Safety and Health at Work. This page, http://ew2005.osha.eu.int/ currently features the "Stop That Noise" campaign. (Choose from numerous languages as well – upper right menu.) According to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, "Around 60 million employees in Europe are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of noise for at least a quarter of their time at work and noise induced hearing loss is still accounting for about one third of all work-related diseases." That’s a lot of people!
 
Noisy work places and outdoor environments have become a real problem in Finland. Consider that much of southern Finland is under construction (ok – a slight exaggeration on my part) and right there you can see the beginning of a noisy problem! There’s an awful lot of traffic on the road these days too. I can tell you that it’s not so nice to stand at a bus stop on a busy road.  Perhaps you can relate?
 
The European Noise campaign also has international support from Canada. The Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety published a news piece in its May 2005 newsletter and drew up a list of recommendations on how to reduce noise levels in the work place. See the news here:
 
The latest issue of Työ Terveys Turvallisuus from the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health (http://www.ttl.fi/Internet/English/default.htm) featured several articles about noise in the workplace; and several other media outlets all over Finland have highlighted the issue in print and broadcast media.
 
The web site www.nolla.fi works to promote workplace safety in Finland. Nolla meaning zero – therefore zero accidents at work. Their slogan "Yhdessä kohti turvallista Suomea" translates roughly to "Together for a safe Finland". (Unfortunately they do not have any information in English.) The folks at Nolla have also jumped on the "Stop That Noise" campaign bandwagon. Finally, I should mention some other occupational health and safety issues that have made it into the news lately. They include two pieces by Helsingin Sanomat International with regards to the safety of foreign workers in Finland and the poor safety record of constructions sites in Finland. (HS International changed their format recently and have these ridiculously long links to their stories now – I apologize for this. I hope you can access the stories anyways.)
 
 
 
Be safe at work!
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