In health terms, we have been seeing for the past twenty years or so that the gulf between the well-off and the working classes has been growing. HesaMag, the ETUI’s occupational health magazine, is using its latest issue to spotlight how working conditions and the new ways of organising work impact on these health inequalities.

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Editorial - Will you be able to keep doing your current job when you reach 60?

The initial data from the fifth European Working Conditions Survey were published in November 2010. The mine of information yielded by a survey of 44,000 workers clearly cannot be summed up in a single page. But one important thing stands out – when asked if their health and safety was at risk from their work, a quarter of workers answered "yes"... Find out more

Union action can make the difference

Workers have little or no say in the organization of their work, and it is time that their views were properly recognised as being equally valid as those of employers and self-styled experts. What unions have to do is support their members in wresting back ownership of their labour. In one region of Italy, some hospitals assess the risks to... Find out more

Work and health: how some are more equal than others

Social inequalities in health are growing in most European countries. And with public health policies tending to ignore how working and employment conditions play into this, the rise of non-standard forms of employment could widen the gaps further still. Spain has mortality atlases broken down by small geographical areas. The higher the mortality... Find out more

Rob Edwards

Working for better health for workers

In the city of Sheffield, birthplace of Britain’s stricken steel industry, an occupational health surgery carries on a pioneering scheme started over thirty years ago. In that time, the thousands of workers it has seen have mainly presented with the typical "smokestack industry" diseases of lung diseases and deafness. Now, it is psychosocial... Find out more

Lucía Artazcoz, Imma Cortès, Carme Borrell

Work and family: "double workload” overburdens women's health

Although completely out of tune with the realities of today’s workplace, the ingrained stereotypes of man as breadwinner and woman as homemaker are proving hard to root out. They downplay how much running a home affects women's health. The combination of gender and social inequalities takes its worst toll on the physical and psychological health of... Find out more

Denis Grégoire

GPs and occupational doctors: talking is key

Wide social inequalities in health are found in all European countries, but they are rarely put down to work. The social invisibility of the interplay between health and work is exacerbated by the lack of contact between works doctors and family doctors. How can these two key players for the health of workers interact more effectively? Two Belgian... Find out more

Marion Guyonvarch

Romania - work still bad for health

The country’s work accident figures may be falling and working conditions improving, especially since joining the EU and coming into line with its laws in 2006, but work is still not a safe nor yet healthy place to be for Romania’s five million employees. 38-year-old Bogdan is a casual construction worker. He doesn’t see himself as working in... Find out more

Hans Olof Wiklund

Sweden: regional safety representatives, a model that is unique in Europe

Does Sweden, with its famous "social model", still represent the example to be followed? When it comes to preventing occupational risks, the answer remains Yes. The country is successfully carrying on an experiment which began over 60 years ago. Over 2,000 regional safety representatives, appointed by the trade unions, are making sure that... Find out more

Magdalena Echeverría

"The Chile 33": the lessons that must be learned

The happy ending to summer’s Chilean rescue saga and its hijack by politicians and the media have overshadowed the issue of the miners’ working conditions. A total disregard for safety measures and profit-chasing driven by copper prices were key to the accident happening. In August 2010, a tunnel collapse occurred in the privately-owned medium... Find out more

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Social inequalities in health: the impact of work