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.


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

France Télécom: institutional harassment before a court

18 July 2019

A landmark trial ended on 11 July 2019 at the Paris Tribunal de Grande Instance. It was triggered by a complaint filed with the Paris public prosecutor by the union SUD PTT in December 2009, accusing France Télécom and its senior executives of "moral harassment" and "endangering others".

Colombia bans asbestos

15 July 2019
camara colombia

On 11 June 2019, the Colombian House of Representatives unanimously voted to ban asbestos as of 1 January 2021. A historic victory for the unions and victim associations, the vote took place in an unfavourable political context.

Italy: industrial pollution boosts health inequality

11 July 2019
Carte Sentieri

The 5th SENTIERI report was published in Italy in June 2019. SENTIERI is an ambitious Italian project collecting data on sites with identified industrial pollution.

Austria bans glyphosate

10 July 2019
Austrian Parliament

On 2 July 2019, the Austrian parliament approved a complete ban on the use of glyphosate in Austria. At the initiative of the Austrian socialist party, the SPÖ, this new act bans the marketing of any herbicide containing glyphosate as its main agent. This makes Austria the first EU Member State to adopt such legislation with a view to protecting public health and preventing cancer.

The prison as a microcosm of society

9 July 2019
Launch HesaMag19

The latest issue of HesaMag, the ETUI’s biannual magazine on health and safety at work, focuses on working conditions behind bars. It is not an obvious topic for HesaMag, as it goes far beyond the medical aspects of occupational health. But the aim of each issue is to focus on occupations and sectors at the margins of society to show how a broader social solidarity can be beneficial for everybody.


    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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