Occupational health and safety risks for the most vulnerable workers
Client: European Parliament / Committee on Employment and Social Affairs
This study constitutes the first call-down under Milieu’s framework contract with the European Parliament on Health and Safety at Work.
Health and safety at work (or occupational health and safety) is one of the oldest and most advanced social policies of the European Union. Despite these advances, the 2007 to 2012 Community Strategy on Health and Safety at Work recognises that ‘some categories of workers are still overexposed to occupational risks’.
The aim of this study was to understand better the occupational health and safety risks for the most vulnerable workers and the implications and interactions of these risks, in order to identify the need for possible EU policy actions. Each of the groups of workers studied – women, ageing workers (55 years old and above), workers with disabilities, young workers (18 to 24 years old), migrant workers, temporary workers and low-qualified workers – faces specific occupational health and safety risks.
The different aspects of the study included:
1. identifying and describing the most vulnerable groups of workers as well as the new and emerging risks related to new working environment, economic, social and demographic changes, which can have a higher incidence on vulnerable workers;
2. analysing the exposure to occupational health and safety risks of these groups, from the point of view of their endogenous (age, gender, etc.) and exogenous (sectors, types of contract, etc.) characteristics;
3. analysing proposed EU and national strategies and measures, as well as private initiatives, to prevent or reduce such exposure, having regard to the particular characteristics of the groups concerned;
4. Drafting recommendations regarding possible EU policy actions, for each group and for cross-cutting issues.
The study was recently published by the European Parliament and is accessible here: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/studies/download.do?language=en&file=42511