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Reinforcing EU legislation on health and safety at work

Plenary Session Press release - Employment policy15-12-2011 - 13:42

The effects of new technologies on health must be assessed and nanomaterials must be covered by current EU health and safety rules, says a resolution, passed on Thursday, on a mid-term review of the EU's 2007-2012 health and safety at work strategy.

Every year, 168,000 EU citizens die from work-related accidents or diseases and 7 million are injured in accidents, notes the resolution, which was drafted by Karima Delli (Greens/EFA, FR) and adopted with 371 votes in favour, 47 against and 15 abstentions. 

Effect of new technologies

The potential risks of new technologies and harmful substances must be assessed, and legislation drafted to ensure that nanomaterials are covered by the current European Occupational Health and Safety regulation, says the text.

Protecting workers

Furthermore, individuals who legitimately warn of risks at work should be protected from any pressure to remain silent, say MEPs, calling on the Commission to propose a directive to protect these workers.

Stress at work

Work-related stress is a major obstacle to productivity in Europe, MEPs say, calling on the Commission to take measures to ensure that the EU Framework agreement on work-related stress of 8 October 2004 is duly implemented in every Member State and asking employees' and employers' organisations to raise awareness among employers, workers and their representatives of the need to reduce work-related stress.

REF. : 20111215IPR34231