Generally speaking, women's issues are absent from health and safety policies: the hazards involved are either unknown or underestimated; and priorities are defined in male-dominated sectors and occupations, and so on. This failure to take account of women's health issues in the workplace constitutes a barrier to effective policies on occupational health and equal opportunities.
For several years now, the ETUI Health and Safety department and the ETUC have been trying to incorporate gender into their workplace health and safety policy. In 2001, the ETUI Health and Safety department and ETUC decided to carry out a survey in the 15 EU countries aiming at assessing the situation in two areas:
- The inclusion of gender issues in health and safety policies. The aim was to ascertain the extent to which issues to do with women's health are taken into account when defining priorities, research activities and statistical data, and also the extent to which they are taken on board by the respective players and institutions.
- Practical experiences involving health and safety actions at the workplace that take account of gender issues.
This book reviews the key issues addressed by the research (developments, policies and prospects) and case studies from different EU countries illustrating research action in various sectors on different categories of risks.