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Croatia’s Ministry of Silly Walks

CroatiaAfter recently announcing a ban on the most powerful vacuum cleaners (rated above 1600 watts) from sale to save energy, bureaucrats in Brussels are homing in on another genius plan, as daily Slobodna Dalmacija writes…

The official title of the campaign is “Prevention of falls on the same level and maintenance of order and cleanliness of the workplace” (although one should not be confused with the slogan on the posters “Slipping and tripping up whilst walking flat”). The directive, although one would not say at first glance, was not the brainchild of John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam or anyone from the cast of ‘Monty Python’, but bureaucrats of the Senior Labour inspectors Committee, which gives its opinion to the European Commission, writes Slobodna Dalmacija.

In Croatia, the campaign is carried out under the umbrella of the Ministry of Labour and Pension System, which has employed two staff members specially to execute the plan. The staff will have the responsible task of implementing plans of the Working Group which consists of representatives from Estonia, Ireland, Poland, Denmark, Great Britain and the European Agency for Health and Safety.

The campaign will be driven this year and next, and to “prevent accidents and injury due to slips and trips”, “interactive educational software that shows situations where slipping and stumbling danger may occur” is being prepared. But that is not all. Money will be pumped into producing promotional posters, a calendar for 2015, as well as animated videos. According to European statistics, in Croatia, excluding Finland where officially nobody fell, there are very low rates of ‘slips and trips’. According to Eurostat statistics from 2005, falls ‘over a flat line’ made up 14% of ‘accidents’ which workers required more than 3 days off work. This has jumped to 15% in 2010 and has now forced Brussels to take action.

The campaign started in Croatia in April, with inspectors already visiting a number of premises. Results from the campaign at an EU level are not expected through until June next year.

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