European Trade Union Institute, ETUI.

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Nanodiode project - training materials on nano and workers

The NanoDiode project, an EU-funded research project, runs from mid-2013 to mid-2016. It aims to create an innovative and coordinated programme of outreach and dialogue to support the development of effective governance of nanotechnologies. Part of the engagement activities is aimed at improving the role of workers and their representatives in the organization of worker protection in relation to nanomaterials.

The ETUI has chosen to focus on nanomaterials specifically amongst the range of nanotechnologies that exist or are developing because these are already in workplaces and therefore workers are already exposed to these new materials. This exposure generally occurs without workers being aware and sometimes without employers being aware.

Through the project, the ETUI created and led a Community of Practice, made up of trade unionists, the scientific community, and communications experts. The Community of Practice offered its expertise in the development of capacity-building tools for workers and their representatives. These tools were tested with worker health and safety representatives and with trade unionists (health and safety specialists, trainers and educators), to refine the tools and propose further ones.

A series of presentations and training materials have been prepared to provide comprehensive information on key aspects of worker protection in relation to nanomaterials. The aim of the presentations is to provide fundamental information on nanomaterials so that anyone responsible for or interested in worker health and safety (in a company, trade union or a service related to occupational health and safety) can know what key questions to ask or information to seek to ensure higher worker protection from nanomaterials.

Infographics: practical and visual tools

Presentations and training materials:

  1. Examples of uses of nanomaterials at work (also available in Swedish - Danish - Finnish)
  2. What is nano? ( SE - DK - FI)
  3. Are nanomaterials a worker health and safety risk? ( SE - DK - FI)
  4. How can I know if nanomaterials are used in my workplace? ( SE - DK - FI)
  5. Steps to prevent worker exposure to nanomaterials in the workplace ( SE - DK - FI)
  6. Sharing your knowledge and experience ( SE - DK - FI)

Assessment and feedback

A survey designed to assess participants’ knowledge acquisition and the outcomes of the training. This will help ETUI to adapt and update future versions of the training. The survey is sent out to participants after each training.

Nanocap project

NanoDiode builds upon a previous project, Nanocap, a European project that brought together universities, NGOs and trade unions, to help develop understanding of nanotechnologies and the societal implications of their rapid development.