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.


European Parliament rejects Commission proposal on endocrine disruptors

13 October 2017

On 4 October, the European Parliament vetoed the Commission’s proposed criteria for the identification of endocrine disruptors. A significant majority of MEPs believed that these criteria contravened EU law and posed a threat to public health and the environment (389 voted in favour of rejecting the criteria, while only 235 supported the European Commission). The Commission must now go back to the drawing board and draft a replacement proposal over the next few months.

Swedish study confirms diesel engine exhaust emissions in the workplace as a major cause of lung cancers

11 October 2017

A Swedish study published in June 2017 compared the occurrence of lung cancer among workers who had been exposed to carcinogenic diesel engine exhaust emissions (DEEEs) in the course of their work and those who had not. The findings of the study confirm that occupational exposure to DEEEs is a major cause of lung cancers.

Trade unions and employers’ associations consulted by the Commission on the Carcinogens and Mutagens at Work Directive

9 October 2017

A consultation of trade unions and employers’ associations on the future of the EU Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work was launched by the European Commission on 26 July.

Belgium steps up efforts to prevent risks to reproductive health in the workplace

13 September 2017

A Royal Decree published in the Belgian Monitor on 11 September has extended the scope of worker protection regulations to cover not only carcinogens and mutagens, but also reprotoxic substances. This represents the final stage of regulatory reforms which the Belgian Government initially hoped would run in parallel to a similar process launched by the European Union back in 2002.

ETUI occupational health seminar focuses on the revision of six OSH directives

13 September 2017

The main item on the agenda at the ETUI’s annual Seminar on Occupational Safety and Health (OSH), held in Tallinn (Estonia) on 6 and 7 September and attended by around 50 participants, was the ongoing revision of six OSH directives. Preliminary conclusions were drawn regarding the revised Directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens or mutagens at work. The representative of European Commission also took the opportunity to clarify its position on psychosocial risks and musculoskeletal disorders, two other topics of priority interest for trade unions.

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