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.


Patronat et syndicats demandent à la Commission d'inclure les reprotoxiques dans la directive sur les cancérogènes et mutagènes au travail

17 October 2018

Le 16 octobre, l'industrie chimique et les syndicats européens ont convenu que les travailleurs de l'Union européenne (UE) devaient être mieux protégés contre les risques liés à l'exposition à des substances toxiques pour la reproduction. Dans une déclaration commune, la Confédération européenne des syndicats (CES), industriAll Europe, la Fédération européenne des employeurs de l'industrie chimique (ECEG) et le Conseil européen de l'industrie chimique (Cefic) demandent à la Commission européenne d'étendre le champ d’application de la directive relative à la protection des travailleurs contre les agents cancérogènes et mutagènes aux substances toxiques pour la reproduction.

REACH: NGO criticises poor quality of registration dossiers

12 October 2018

The European Environmental Bureau (EEB) says that 32% of the chemicals made or imported into the European Union since 2010 in quantities exceeding 1 000 tonnes per year have breached the REACH regulations. This statement is based on a joint study by the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung, BfR) and the German Environment Agency (UBA).

Diesel emissions will fall under the scope of the Carcinogens directive. A victory for the workers’ movement

11 October 2018

On 11 October, the European Parliament and the Council came to an agreement on the Commission's second proposal to broaden the list of recognised cancer-causing chemicals in the workplace. Eight additional substances will be covered by the Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive, including diesel engines exhaust emission (DEEE) in workplaces. The European Trade Union Confederation has welcomed the announcement.

2018 Prescrire Prize awarded to an ETUI publication

4 October 2018

The ETUI was announced as one of the winners of the 2018 Prescrire Prize in Paris on Thursday, 4 October 2018 for its publication entitled ‘Endocrine disruptors: an occupational risk in need of recognition’. These awards have been given out every year since 1989 by the French journal Prescrire, renowned for its work on drug research and its independence from the pharmaceutical industry.

New report on how European countries address the issue of burnout in the workplace

2 October 2018

In September, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) published a report reviewing policies and regulations adopted in Europe to tackle burnout in the workplace.

ETUI conference: Women, Work and Cancer

2 October 2018

On 4-5 December 2018, the ETUI will be holding a conference in Brussels on work-related cancers. Work on the prevention of occupational cancer in women is currently facing some difficulties. Epidemiological research in this area focuses far more often on men than on women. There is a stereotype of occupational cancer only being an issue for male professions in traditional industries.

Chemical risks: French report wants improved employer monitoring

2 October 2018

In early September the French Ministry of Labour published a report on the prevention of chemical risks at work.Written by Paul Frimat, a professor in occupational health, this document had been tucked away for several months because it contains several proposals that go against the reforms undertaken under the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Those reforms aim to reduce employers’ obligations in terms of risk prevention. By contrast, the Frimat report calls for increased employer accountability and recognition of occupational diseases due to dangerous chemicals.

Annual gathering of union experts on occupational safety and health: law enforcement as a key challenge for the future

1 October 2018

The 14th edition of the annual trade union strategic seminar on health & safety at work, organised by the ETUI from 10 to 13 September 2018 in Athens, provided a forum for more than 40 trade union representatives from 19 different European countries to discuss a range of topics, from carcinogens at work to work-related stress. This meeting allows every year the workers’ interest group of the Advisory Committee for Safety and Health at Work to take stock of EU policy and union priorities in the field of occupational safety and health (OSH).


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