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.


France: the social partners reject the idea of a standard on mental health in the workplace

12 July 2018

As part of the discussions in a body overseen by the Labour Minister, France’s social partners stated clearly that they were opposed to any draft standard on mental health and safety in the workplace. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) would like to begin work on this draft standard, following on from the adoption in March of a standard on occupational health and safety management.

ETUI seminar on carcinogens at work and chemical risks

6 July 2018

The 14th edition of the ETUI’s annual seminar on workers’ protection and chemicals took place in Brussels on 21 and 22 June 2018. It brought together some 40 trade union members from across Europe with a view to coordinating trade union action on the fight against occupational cancers.

HesaMag n°17: All that glitters is not gold: the dark side of the beauty industry

22 June 2018

The latest issue of HesaMag, the ETUI periodical dealing with occupational safety and health, investigates the working conditions in the beauty industry. Because they contribute to our wellbeing, beauty professionals are rarely seen as workers who face health and safety risks. And yet, those who take care of the body of others pay the price with their personal health.

World Cup Russia: 21 construction workers died on stadium building sites

22 June 2018

In a report published in early June, the global union federation of the workers from the building and wood sectors revealed serious violations of workers’ rights at the stadium construction sites for the 2018 World Cup in Russia. The abuses included dangerous working conditions and workers being forced to work outside in extremely cold weather – for wages below the minimum wage standard.

ILO to draft sexual harassment treaty

22 June 2018

On 8 June, the International Labour Organization (ILO) agreed to draft an international treaty to protect workers from sexual harassment and violence.

France: specialist building trades most affected by work-related cancers

21 June 2018

Specialist building and metalworking trades are those most affected by work-related cancers, according to a study by the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health & Safety (ANSES) presented on 6 June in Marseille.

France: significant reduction in employment rate five years after cancer diagnosis

21 June 2018

On 20 June the French National Cancer Institute (INCa) and the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (Inserm) published the results of a study carried out in France in 2015 of 4 179 people between the ages of 23 and 87 who had been diagnosed with cancer five years previously. The study focused, in particular, on the disease’s impact on their working lives.

People who work nights and shifts at higher risk of workplace injury

21 June 2018

Night workers, shift workers and new recruits are at a higher risk of workplace injury, compared to staff not working these hours, according to a study published in April 2018 by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the national body in Ireland with responsibility for occupational health and safety.