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Going to court to demand compliance with preventive occupational health and safety legislation is a laborious, costly and infrequently used process. However, it is clear from historical experience that legal cases do play a decisive role in pushing for change. To go to court is to testify that the right to health at work is a fundamental human right and that violating it must be punished. This is often a difficult path that calls for individual persistence and collective courage.

To celebrate the publication of the 22nd issue of the ETUI’s biannual health and safety magazine, HesaMag, we have invited a panel of speakers to present their accounts of occupational safety cases from various European countries – emblematic trials that they have either written about or been involved in themselves. We hope that it will also provoke a debate about what kinds of litigation strategies could help to stimulate collective action on the crucial issue of occupational health.


  • Laurent Vogel, associate researcher in health and safety at the ETUI and former editor of HesaMag
  • François Dosso, CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labour), on the battle for recognition of French miners’ occupational diseases
  • Marian Schaapman, head of the ETUI’s health and safety unit, on the chromium VI scandals in the Netherlands and Belgium
  • Spanish journalist Berta Chulvi on the story of corruption in a Barcelona prevention service
  • Pierre Bérastégui, ETUI researcher in health and safety, on the lengthy legal battle of four Belgian workers with occupational cancer

Host: Bethany Staunton, deputy editor of HesaMag (ETUI)

The event will be in English and French. Interpretation will be provided for both languages.