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HEROS project: safety and health risks for healthcare workers



Health Risk Outlooks by Social Partners (HEROS) project has analysed the occupational safety and health (OSH) challenges and risks related to healthcare workers in the EU. Released in 2023, it aims to provide a better understanding of this issue. 

Ageing workforce, staff shortages, low wages, long working hours, multiple jobholding and underfinancing are the main OSH challenges for nurses and care workers identified in HEROS. In terms of OSH risks, the most common ones are understaffing, work overload, work-related stress, violence and harassment at work, and burnout. These risks and challenges are similar in all countries. However, they are exacerbated in countries where staff shortages, turnover, and lack of adequate skills are severe. 

Sharing the view that patients and users of care services are safe when workers are safe, HEROS proposes to coordinate safety and health regulations for health workers more effectively at European, national, and organisational levels, and to promote the role of the social partners (trade unions and employers’ organisations) in the different national systems.

Read HEROS final project report

Check the EU-OSHA web section for the health and social care sector and OSH