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.


More than half of women say PPE prevents them doing their job

21 June 2017

The unisex approach applied by most manufacturers of personal protective equipment (PPE) means it is unsuitable and uncomfortable for many female workers, according to a report published on 28 April 2017 by the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Time for change: European trade unions join together to stem the rise in psychosocial risks

21 June 2017

The Fourth European Trade Union Workshop on Psychosocial Risks at Work, organised by the ETUI on 23 and 24 May 2017 in Brussels, provided a forum for 35 trade union representatives from 16 different European countries to discuss a range of topics centring around this year’s theme of ‘Psychosocial risks and collective action’, which was selected in response to the worrying year-on-year rise in the number of workers exposed to psychosocial risk factors.

Switzerland: deterioration in working conditions over the past 10 years

21 June 2017

An overall increase in most sources of physical stress at work such as loud noise, vibrations, painful positions and repetitive movements was observed in Switzerland between 2005 and 2015, setting the country at odds with the rest of Europe, where work-related physical risks remained at a constant level.

Protection against bisphenol A (BPA) soon to be stepped up for workers and consumers

16 June 2017

On 16 June, the Member State Committee of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) decided to identify bisphenol A (BPA) as a substance of very high concern, in a move designed to encourage manufacturers to slash their use of this hormone-mimicking chemical.

France: 12% of salaried workers exposed to at least one carcinogen at the workplace

14 June 2017

In France in 2009-2010, 12% of salaried workers (nearly 2.6 million, 2 million men (17%) and 600,000 women (5.9%)) were exposed to at least one carcinogenic hazard and about 757,000 ones had at least a double exposure (5.7% for men and 0.9% for women), according to a study published on 13 June 2017 by Santé publique France, the national public health agency.

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