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.


England: rise in poor-quality work a key factor in the deterioration of public health

25 March 2020

“England is faltering,” declares the opening lines of the Marmot Review of Health Equity in England, published in February 2020 and coordinated by esteemed epidemiologist Sir Michael Marmot, Director of the Institute of Health Equity. The life expectancy rate, which, alongside continuous improvements in health, had been rising steadily since the beginning of the twentieth century, has been slowing down since 2011 to an extent not witnessed for 120 years: a phenomenon not seen anywhere else in Europe. In the most deprived communities outside London it actually fell for part of the decade 2010-2020.

France: Uber drivers are employees, says the French Court of Cassation

9 March 2020
Cour de cassation

On 4 March 2020, the French Court of Cassation ruled in favour of reclassifying the contractual relationship between Uber and one of its drivers. This is the second court ruling in France in favour of platform workers, coming in the wake of the one concerning Take Eat Easy, a former food delivery company.

Now screening: the perfluorooctanoic acid health scandal

26 February 2020
Dark Waters

Todd Haynes’ new film, “Dark Waters”, hit European cinemas in February. The film portrays the scandalous poisoning of the population of Parkersburg in the US state of Virginia by water contaminated by perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) synthesised in the local plant of the US Dupont corporation.

In favour of new rules for protecting against endocrine disruptors

9 February 2020

In a contribution to a public consultation organised by the European Commission, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) stated that current legislation on endocrine disruptors was insufficient and inconsistent.

33 CMRs banned in Europe’s textile industry

22 January 2020

The European Commission is going to ban 33 carcinogens, mutagens and reprotoxic substances (CMRs) in clothes and textiles produced or marketed in the European Union.

Luxembourg to become the first EU country to ban glyphosate at the end of 2020

21 January 2020
Photo by Jean Carlo Emer on Unsplash

Luxembourg is set to become the first EU country to completely ban products based on glyphosate. The ban will come into effect in three phases: authorisation to market it will be withdrawn on 1 February 2020. Then there will be a period lasting until 30 June allowing stocks of it to be run down. Finally, the total ban on the use of herbicides containing glyphosate will come into effect on 31 December 2020. This measure was first announced in December 2018 in the context of the coalition agreement underlying the formation of a new government made up of the Socialists, Liberals and Greens.

Claudio Stanzani (1948-2019)

21 January 2020

Claudio Stanzani passed away on 27 December 2019 at the age of 71, after a long battle with cancer.

A website for breast cancer and occupational exposure to chemical products

14 January 2020

The California Department of Public Health has just launched a web tool ( allowing the state’s 6.6 million working women to identify occupational exposures contributing to breast cancer risks. The tool is the product of a collaboration project between researchers from the University of California in San Francisco and the Occupational Health Branch of the California Department of Public Health. It is part of a wider research programme looking into breast cancer risks associated with work-related exposure to chemical products.


    ETUI Conference 'Work and Cancer', 14-15 November 2017


picture MS

Marian Schaapman Head of Unit Health & Safety and Working Conditions


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