Occupational Health and Safety

For UEL, occupational health and safety is part at large of corporate social responsibility and in the post-pandemic context, this is even more important.

The corporate culture that results from any global risk prevention strategy is a key element of economic competitiveness and makes it possible to increase productivity and maintain or even win markets. It is implemented and supported by the company manager, who raises awareness and motivates employees and partners to participate in the company’s strategy.

In order to promote excellence and the transfer of know-how in terms of management and monitoring in the fields of health and safety in the workplace, UEL, through the INDR, has been organising a series of events dedicated to health and safety in the workplace since 2008, in partnership with the Accident Insurance Association (AAA) and ArcelorMittal. Reference partners have joined this initiative: Occupational Health and Environment Division, Labour and Mines Inspectorate, Institut de Formation Sectoriel du Bâtiment and Lalux. In 2016, UEL, INDR and AAA initiated the national VISION ZERO strategy with a view to continuously and sustainably reducing the number and severity of occupational accidents and diseases.

The national strategy VISION ZERO

On 24 March 2016, the national players signed a national “VISION ZERO” charter to revitalise occupational safety and health, and objectives for the period 2016 to 2022 were set, namely
  • to make decision-makers, safety representatives and, more generally, all employees and other stakeholders aware of the advantages of a systemic or integrated approach to occupational safety and health
  • a 20% reduction in the national frequency rate of work-related accidents, all sectors combined, compared with 2014 (frequency rate of 5.37%), by directing a particular effort at the highest risk sectors,
  • In the medium and long term, the objective of the “ZERO VISION” remains the continuous reduction in the number of serious and fatal accidents, i.e. zero deaths, zero serious injuries.
Thus, since 2016, VISION ZERO has been based on a strategy to prevent accidents at work, commuting accidents and occupational diseases. This strategy reflects the joint determination of the national partners to revitalise safety and health at work and to mobilise all stakeholders, both employers and employees. 
VISION ZERO does not mean that risk at work will become zero, but that potential sources of risk must be reduced as much as possible in order to avoid accidents, particularly serious and fatal ones. It is a continuous improvement process that aims to increase awareness and train employees in safe and responsible behaviour by calling on the leadership of company managers.
Given the importance of this issue, the initiators of VISION ZERO have decided to continue their efforts in the field of occupational health and safety and to make special efforts in high-risk sectors. The presentation of this new phase of the ZERO VISION and its objectives for 2023 – 2030 took place at the 15th Occupational Safety and Health Forum organised by the AAA, UEL and INDR on 26 October 2022.

National targets 2023 – 2030

  •  A 20% decrease in the national frequency rate of accidents at work, all sectors combined, compared to 2019 (3.73%), by directing a particular effort to the risk sectors through the implementation of a set of more targeted actions
  • Continued decrease in the number of serious and fatal accidents
Adherence to the ZERO VISION is a voluntary commitment to reduce the number of serious and the severity of accidents at work, commuting accidents and occupational diseases. A safe and healthy workplace is a common will and a shared responsibility between the Government, companies, employees, social partners and all stakeholders. It is therefore an appeal to institutional partners and companies to subscribe to the national VISION ZERO strategy, supported by the Government.

Commute, let's make it safe!

Since the presentation of its study on workplace accidents in 2002, the UEL notes a steady decline in work-related accidents, with the frequency rate per 100 full-time employees decreasing from 11.08 in 2000 to 6.28 in 2010. However, while the overall trend of accidents at work is on the decline, this is not the case for the proportion of commuting and mission accidents that has increased significantly during this period. In fact, one in four accidents at work is attributable to a traffic collision. Depending on the year, one in two fatal workplace accidents is due to a car accident.

On the basis of these findings, the UEL, together with national actors involved in the prevention of road accidents, launched in 2004 and then in 2012, a vast information and awareness campaign aimed at companies with the objective of reducing the number of commuting and mission accidents. The success of such campaigns depends not only on the collaboration of the companies, but also of the employees, the first concerned by this issue, to develop a better awareness of the risks associated with driving. Conducted under the banner TRAJET, secure it! (COMMUTE, let’s make it safe!), these campaigns are part of the sustainable development policy pursued by the employers’ organisations and materialised by the adoption of a charter by the UEL on 31 October 2003. The UEL is also a signatory of the European road safety charter.

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