European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Health & Safety - working conditions

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.

News

La Belgique renforce la prévention des risques pour la santé reproductive sur les lieux de travail

13 September 2017

Le 11 septembre, le Moniteur belge a publié un arrêté royal étendant aux substances reprotoxiques le champ d’application des dispositions concernant la protection des travailleurs contre les agents cancérogènes et mutagènes. Il s’agit de l’étape finale d’un processus réglementaire. Initialement, le gouvernement belge entendait procéder à cette réforme en même temps que l’Union européenne.

Séminaire de l’ETUI sur la santé au travail : la révision de six directives en plat de résistance

13 September 2017

Les 6 et 7 septembre, l’ETUI a organisé à Tallinn (Estonie) son séminaire annuel sur la santé et la sécurité au travail (SST). Cet évènement, qui a rassemblé quelque 50 participants, avait pour principal point à l’ordre du jour la révision en cours de six directives en SST. Un premier bilan de la révision de la directive sur la protection des travailleurs contre les cancérogènes et les mutagènes a été dressé. La Commission a également pu clarifier sa position sur deux autres dossiers prioritaires pour le mouvement syndical : les risques psychosociaux et les troubles musculosquelettiques.

France: Government announces plans to abolish Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees

4 September 2017

On 31 August 2017, the French Ministry of Labour published proposed amendments to the Labour Code. One of the changes – introduced by President Macron in response to employer demands – relates to the abolition of Health, Safety and Working Conditions Committees, which will be merged together with other staff representative bodies in a single ‘Works Council’.

Germany: better recognition of occupational diseases

30 August 2017

According to the German accident insurance, in 2016 the number of workers affected by a recognized occupational disease increased by 22% compared with the year before. In total, some 80,000 cases were processed of which 20,539 were recognized. This increase is very much related to skin cancer. Since 2015, basal-cell and squamous-cell carcinomas caused by solar radiation have been recognized in Germany as an occupational disease.

Cleaning workforce at particular risk of pulmonary disease

30 August 2017

According to a survey carried out by the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and picked up on by the Belgian media on 25 August, the mortality rate from pulmonary disease is significantly higher among men and women who work in the cleaning sector than among the rest of the population.

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