The ETUI hosted the Annual Strategic Meeting of the Workers' group of the Advisory Committee for Safety and Health at Work (ACSH) on the 15th and 16th of September.

The two-day panel, gathered experts in the field of Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) coming from the ETUC, ETUI, ILO, national trade unions and Business Europe. Both participants and speakers have pointed out multi-layered effects of COVID-19  on workers' health and safety and how such an outbreak has heightened and amplified pre-existing cracks in the labour markets and healthcare sector. Discussants have also articulated the common challenges that workers were faced during the pandemic. Different approaches adopted by the Member States and supranational actors such as the European Trade Union Confederation and the International Labour Organization have been presented by the representatives of these organisations and discussed by participants. 

ETUI Senior Researchers Laurent Vogel and Tony Musu have unveiled two policy initiatives at the EU level: the novel EU Chemicals Strategy and the long-standing but still incomplete battle against cancer at work through the revision of Carcinogens and Mutagens Directive (CMD). The fourth revision batch of new OELs under CMD has been released shortly after the Annual Meeting on September 22nd 2020.

A strategic outlook for a joint work of ACSH and ETUI was presented in the final part of the meeting. High level of attention has been paid to chemical substances and OELs, psychosocial hazards and MSDs, new forms of work organisation, occupational diseases in a framework of current pandemic, support for workers representation in OHS and labour inspection. The European Commission is requested to finalise and launch a new political framework for OHS Strategy with a clear vision on political priorities in health and safety supported by the EU in next years.

Presentations:

Speakers:

  • Marian Schaapman, Head of unit health and safety, working conditions, ETUI
  • Nina H. Nielsen, Spokesperson of ACSH WIG, Danish Trade Union Confederation
  • Nicola Countouris, Director of research department, ETUI
  • Pelle Hilmersson, Deputy general secretary, ETUC
  • Rebekah Smith, Deputy director, social affairs departments, Business Europe
  • Manal Azzi, Senior occupational safety and health specialist labour administration, International Labour Organization (ILO)
  • Laurent Vogel, Senior researcher, health and safety, working conditions, ETUI
  • Tony Musu, Senior researcher, health and safety, working conditions. ETUI
  • Bianca Luna Fabris, Junior researcher, health and safety, working conditions, ETUI
  • Damini Purkayastha, Researcher at Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB)

 

 

Photo credits: nipastock