Information Campaign in the Graphic Media Industry
Introduction and problem setting
Within the graphic industry the use of harmful diluents is widespread. Nevertheless, many companies do not use the information available specifically for their industry. For that reason the Dutch WAGG (Working Group Work and Health Grafimedia), the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment and their social partners (KVGO, ZSO, FNV Media & Culture, CNV and De Unie) initiated a joint information campaign called ‘Stofwisseling’ (change of substances). The focus of this campaign lies on increasing the awareness about diluents and other hazardous substances, reducing the possible resistance among employers and employees against working without the diluents, and making sure companies are willing to start using alternatives that are less harmful.
In 2014 the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment in the Netherlands started a program called ‘Self-Regulation of Working in a Healthy and Safe Environment’. Its purpose is to inspire and support companies to self-regulate safe and healthy work environments. This includes giving responsibility to employers and employees to create their own safe and healthy workplace, in addition to the regulation of the government. The approach is focused on compliance (working in accordance with the rules and regulations) as well as on participation (behavior and continuing the program). This program has been adjusted per different industry. In the graphic media industry this program is called ‘Stofwisseling’, and exists since the 31st of January in 2017. Two projects have been completed already: The first was a desk research about the current use of diluents within the graphic media industry in the Netherlands as well as in adjacent countries, the second was a questionnaire to map the attitudes about diluents among employers and employees in the graphic media industry.
Within the graphic industry results are visible. A couple of tools have been made available, for example, online information for employees and employers, and a toolbox focused on work and health in the graphic media industry that contains a digital scan for measuring the motivation to change in companies. Furthermore, the general idea about using hazardous substances is changing positively. This can be seen in the fact that many companies in the graphic industry are willing and trying to reduce the use of the hazardous substance Isopropyl Alcohol (IPA). Not using IPA in your company makes the workplace safer, by for example removing the smell and fumes it produces. It turned out that the quality of IPA-free offset printing is significantly better than when diluents are used. Some examples of companies that are worthy of mentioning due to their safe performances in the graphic media industry in the Netherlands are the following: De Persgroep Nederland, Ecodrukkers, Zalsman, PPP Nederland, Vrijdag Premium Printing, Van Der Most, Rodi, Wedding Nederland and Ponderosa.