23% of European workers believe that their safety or their health is at risk because of their work – a figure which shows that working conditions in Europe are not improving. And even though manufacturing employment across Europe is shrinking and losing ground to service jobs, exposure to traditional physical hazards - noise, dangerous goods, heavy lifting, etc. – has not gone away. In this section we monitor latest news and highlight our research activities on working conditions and occupational health and safety.
On Friday 28 April, the international trade union movement will be holding its annual Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers. This year, the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) will denounce the impact of discrimination on workers’ health and safety.
A survey carried out in two of France’s municipalities which house one of Europe’s largest petrochemical complexes has revealed that two thirds of respondents suffer from chronic diseases, including cancer.
In just five years the number of Danish workers reporting suffering from work-related psychological strain has grown by 17 percent, and 15 percent more are experiencing muscular and skeletal strain. The standards of Danish working environments have fallen so rapidly that the Minister for Employment Troels Lund Poulsen from Venstre, the Liberal Party of Denmark, has acknowledged that existing working environment measures have not worked and must be revised.
On 16 March, the French trade union federation, the CFDT (Confédération Française Démocratique du Travail), published the initial results of a broad-ranging online survey about work. Only a quarter of the respondents feel that their work is ‘good’ for their health.
On 16 February 2017, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) published a joint report on the benefits and drawbacks of teleworking. Entitled ‘Working anytime, anywhere: The effects on the world of work’, it reviews the impact on workers’ health of digital technologies used from home for work purposes in 15 countries, including 10 EU Member States.
Aída Ponce del Castillo (ETUI) and Sascha Meinert (IPA, Berlin)
Dr Rokus Renirie and Dr Hildo Krop (IVAM, Research and Consultancy on Sustainability)
Tony Musu (ETUI), Laurent Vogel (ETUI) and Henning Wriedt (Beratungs- und Informationsstelle Arbeit & Gesundheit, Hamburg)
Henning Wriedt (Occupational Health & Safety Advice Centre, Hamburg, Germany)