Beekeeper’s Portrait Wins First Prize in European Photo Competition on Safer and Healthier Workplaces

Beekeeper’s Portrait Wins First Prize in European Photo Competition on Safer and Healthier Workplaces

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has just announced the winner of the photography competition focusing on safety and health at work. Christopher Azzopardi from Malta was awarded with the 1st prize for his photograph entitled “Beekeeper” at the European Summit on Risk Assessment and SMEs in Bilbao, the closing event of the Healthy Workplaces Campaign.
 
The 2009 winner, Christopher Azzopardi, was enthusiastic about his success: “I am very honoured to receive the prize. The photo was the most challenging picture I have ever taken. I was wearing protective clothing when I took the photo of a beekeeper working in an apiary in Malta, but the bees still managed to sting me several times. Through this photo I wanted to show the importance of wearing protective clothing while working in a dangerous environment.”
 
The second and third prize was handed to Eric Despujols from France (“Welder”) and Rodrigo Cabrita from Portugal (“A hard and complicated life”).
 
The Europe-wide photo competition has captured the imagination of photography enthusiasts across the European Union. With every new photograph an insight into the interpretations of safety and health among Europe’s citizens was gained. Jukka Takala, Director of EU-OSHA, emphasized the success of the competition at the award ceremony in Bilbao: “The interest shown and creative talent on display has been very encouraging. I am very pleased to award the best and most original photos answering our question “What’s your image of safety and health at work?”. Humour, simplicity and innocence are often present, sometimes accompanied by a slight sense of tension or even provocation, as if to remind us of the everyday importance of healthier and safer workplaces.”
 
The photo competition was organised in the framework of the Agency’s Healthy Workplaces campaign on risk assessment. All photographers – professionals or amateurs – were invited to join the competition and submit their photographs between May 9th and August 15th 2009. An acclaimed international jury was in charge to select the best entries. Top photographers Mertxe Alarcón, Clemente Bernad, Miguel Ángel Gaüeca and Ambroise Tézenas were joined by Peter Rimmer, communication expert in occupational safety and health and formerly from the Health and Safety Executive UK.
 
 
 
Christoper Azzopardi’s photo shows a bee keeper working in an apiary in Malta. Malta’s honey has been known since ancient times for its high quality. “Through this photo I wanted to show the importance of wearing protective clothing while working in a dangerous environment such as in an apiary,” said Azzopardi’. “This was one of the most difficult photos that I have taken so far, because although I was wearing protective clothing, bees still managed to sting me several times. In spite of this I must say that taking photos in an apiary has been one of the most wonderful experiences in my career as a photographer.
 
 
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work was set up by the European Union to help meet the information needs in the field of occupational safety and health. Based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency aims to improve the lives of people at work by stimulating the flow of technical, scientific and economic information between all those involved in occupational safety and health issues.
 
 The pan-European photo competition “What’s your image of safety and health?” is organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work to promote awareness on occupational safety and health. With this initiative, EU-OSHA encouraged entrants to photograph images which portray safety and health at work issues in creative and imaginative ways. Entries could depict work-related situations in different economic sectors such as agriculture, education or health care. In total, three winners are selected from the submissions. The first prize is awarded with €3,000. Second and third placed entries win €2,000 and €1,000 respectively. A touring exhibition showcases winning and short-listed photos throughout Europe.
 
Healthy Workplaces. Good for you. Good for business. A European campaign on risk assessment is the Europe-wide information campaign organised by EU-OSHA. The current campaign (2008/2009) aims at reducing work-related accidents and illness through better risk assessment. It targets, in particular, SMEs and high risk sectors, such as construction, agriculture and transport.