Hesamag 17

Because they contribute to our wellbeing, beauty professionals are rarely seen as workers who face health and safety risks. And yet, those who take care of the body of others pay the price with their personal health. There are extremely few of these beauty workers who do not suffer from musculoskeletal problems. Daily use of cosmetic products containing chemical substances that are allergenic or irritate the skin causes other health problems.

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Editorial - Workplaces are also places where we live

Most of the adult population spends a large amount of time at work, whether as hours per day, days per week or years of active work. Over and above the actual working hours, work plays an important role in our relations with the world around us: with the people and the things we work with. Work requires us to use our intelligence, our bodies and... Find out more

Revision of the directive on occupational cancers: a political battle requiring staying power

Cancers caused by work have become one of the main legislative battlegrounds in the European Union. The current revision of the directive can already be seen as a victory for the trade unions, in an overall unfavourable context. But how far will the revision go? I n E u r o p e , ca n c e r s a r e t h e m a i n c a u s e o f d e a t h s r e l a t... Find out more

The fight to protect hairdressers’ health: the inside story

The never-ending saga of the framework agreement of the European social partners on health and safety in the hairdressing sector well illustrates the influence of gender stereotypes on policymakers. The virulent attacks of those opposed to transposing this agreement into a directive are partly explained by the fact that 80% of employees in the... Find out more

Manon Mercier

Working as a nail technician: when beauty is not in tune with health

In February 2014, employees working for Supply Beauty, a beauty salon offering hairdressing and manicure services, came out on strike against their employer. The reason: they hadn’t been paid for two months. On visiting the premises, the labour inspectorate came across many other breaches of hygiene and health regulations. T h e e m pl oy e e s – m... Find out more

The European Cosmetics Regulation: consumers better protected than hairdressers

We’ve just been given this lovely new European Cosmetics Regulation, but it seems to totally ignore beauticians, focusing solely on protecting consumers and lab animals. With regard to the health and safety of those whose work is reliant on the use of such products, the measures foreseen are purely… cosmetic. Many scientific studies show that those... Find out more

Berta Chulvi

Health hazard at the gym: instructor insecurity

In a business that focuses on the body, fitness and aesthetics, job insecurity introduces a paradox: those who take care of the body of others pay the price with their personal health. This is the story of Silvia, a fitness instructor and beauty coach whose career shows that job insecurity influences job organisation to the extent that it leads to... Find out more

Barbara Landrevie

A $10 manicure? The other side of the coin

It wasn’t strikes or even the unions that put a stop to the shameless exploitation of nail salon employees in New York State, but the power of the media coupled with a voluntary policy. Among the major US cities, New York is unrivalled in the prevalence of nail salons. San Francisco and Los Angeles have less than half the NY number of salons per... Find out more

Denis Grégoire

“I love it when people tell me about their lives”

Working in the beauty trade requires unexpected practical and theoretical skills, far removed from the general clichés, together with a good dose of psychology. An interview with a beautician. Although I’m just about to leave the hairdressing and beauty salon, I hand her a copy of the book Le corps des autres . Written by French author Ivan... Find out more

Pascal Marichalar

Fighting for the factory, only to die for it The exemplary fight of the former Givors glassworkers

French sociologist Pascal Marichalar recently published a noteworthy book on the mobilisation of former workers of a glassworks linked to Danone, the food giant. Several of them have developed work-related cancer. His investigation, which he accepted to resume for HesaMag, is much more than a university study. It is also a vibrant homage to a union... Find out more

Angelo Ferracuti

The legend of Luigi Di Ruscio

In post-war Italy, Luigi Di Ruscio, a self-taught writer, was an unemployed bricklayer and a grassroots activist in the PCI. Luigi Di Ruscio emigrated to Norway in 1957 and found a job in a nail factory. “I wanted to write what people don’t usually write; the destitution of working-class streets, the wretchedness of poor people”, he would confide... Find out more

Denis Grégoire

The conversion of an “agri-manager”

Had it not been for the accident on 27 April 2004, Paul François would undoubtedly have continued to work as a good soldier of the agro-industry. Back then, this ordinary man, who was soon to become the symbol of the fight against the pesticide industry in France, was not yet 40, but he was already in charge of a farm of over 240 hectares. In every... Find out more

Denis Grégoire

Trade unions and health and safety in the workplace, a complicated history

While the future is uncertain for the Comités d’hygiène, de sécurité et des conditions de travail – CHSCT (Committees for Hygiene, Safety and Working Conditions) in France, this book reminds us of the fundamental role they play in risk prevention in the workplace, but also of their limits. Titled Syndicalisme et santé au travail (Trade Unionism and... Find out more

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All that glitters is not gold: the dark side of the beauty industry