European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

Accueil > Topics > Health & Safety - working conditions

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.


France: a status report on the occupational health of firefighters

28 October 2019

ANSES, the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety, has just published a report summarising current knowledge on the occupational health of firefighters.

Can the cocktail effect of chemical products contribute to autism?

28 October 2019
reproductive toxicology

An in vitro research project conducted by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) reveals that certain substances, although non-toxic when tested alone, can, when mixed with other substances, have a negative impact on neuronal development. These results were presented by Ana Bal-Price in September 2019 at the 47th European Teratology Conference and published in the September 2019 issue of the Reproductive Toxicology journal.

Thailand about to ban glyphosate

25 October 2019

After Vietnam, Thailand is set to become the second large Asian agricultural country to completely ban glyphosate in an effort to protect its population. The substance is the active ingredient of Roundup, the top-selling herbicide produced by Monsanto, the US company acquired by German multinational Bayer in June 2018.

The Spanish government reconsiders workers’ protection from carcinogens

11 October 2019
Pool Moncloa/J.M. Cuadrado

Under the pretext of transposing a European directive and boosting the competitiveness of Spanish companies, Spain’s caretaker government is proposing to reduce the protection levels for carcinogens, thereby potentially impacting exposed workers’ health.

66% of employees pushed to work “very fast”

24 September 2019

The results of the SUMER 2017 survey were presented in France on 9 September 2019. SUMER is the acronym for the French “surveillance médicale des salariés aux risques professionnels”, i.e. the medical monitoring of employees’ exposure to occupational risks. Carried out for the 4th time, the survey maps the main work-related risks. The previous surveys were performed in 1994, 2003 and 2010 in such a way that a comparison of the results provides important information on the evolution of working conditions in France over a period of more than 20 years.

High levels of endocrine disruptors found among children

10 September 2019
esteban publication

Hundreds of substances capable of disrupting hormone production exist. Used to a massive extent by industry in many different products, these substances are linked to serious health problems such as cancers, reproductive health disorders, developmental disorders such as obesity, lower intelligence quotients, etc. The main substances used include bisphenols, phthalates, parabens, glycol ethers, brominated flame retardants and perfluorinated compounds (PFCs). For the first time, the French public health agency Santé publique France has measured the presence of these substances of very high concern (SVHCs) in the bodies of children and adults in a large sample (1,104 children and 2,503 adults) representative of the French population. The work was carried out in the context of the ESTEBAN (enquête de santé sur l’environnement, la biosurveillance, l’activité physique et la nutrition) public health survey.

Link between night shift work and breast, prostate and colorectal cancer

5 August 2019

In June 2019 a working group of 27 scientists from 16 countries met at the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in Lyon, France to finalise their evaluation of the carcinogenicity of night shift work. This evaluation will be published in volume 124 of the IARC Monographs and an initial summary of their work was published in The Lancet in July 2019.

New online database for identifying endocrine disruptors

5 August 2019
deduct logo

A team at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences in Chennai, India, has placed online a database which identifies 686 endocrine disruptors. The database is called DEDuCT: Database on Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals and their Toxicity Profiles


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


picture MS

Marian Schaapman Head of Unit Health & Safety and Working Conditions


Related publications