This report presents an update to the Agency´s previous research on gender issues at work, which found that inequality both inside and outside the workplace can have an effect on the health and safety of women at work. It provides a policy perspective and is meant to contribute to the task outlined by the European strategy on health and safety at work for EU-OSHA’s European Risk Observatory, “examining the specific challenges in terms of health and safety posed by the more extensive integration of women in the labour market”. It provides a statistical overview of the trends in employment and working conditions, hazard exposure and work-related accidents and health problems for women at work. It explores selected issues (combined exposures, occupational cancer, access to rehabilitation, women and informal work, and “emerging” female professions such as home care and domestic work). The research highlights the type of work carried out by women, issues faced by younger and older women, the growth of the service sector, violence and harassment, and increasingly diversified working time patterns as major risk factors.
Estimates of the recent and future burden of occupational diseases indicate that occupational cancer is still a major problem and will remain so in the future as a result of exposure of workers to carcinogens. Occupational cancer is a problem that needs to be tackled across the European Union (EU). This report provides an overview of assessment tools for the exposure to cancer risk factors and looks into relevant occupational factors: chemical, physical and biological exposures, as well as other possibly carcinogenic working environment conditions (such as shift and night work). It also examines opportunities to identify new causes or promoters of cancer, and evaluates existing sources of information, to identify major knowledge gaps and describe some new approaches needed to assess and prevent occupational cancer risks. It also describes occupational cancer prevention measures at European, national and workplace levels and makes recommendations for filling in gaps in relevant knowledge needed to prevent effectively future risks of occupational cancer.
The issue of vulnerable groups of workers (for example women, young workers, workers experiencing high exposure to carcinogens, workers in precarious conditions) is also addressed.
This summary provides a short overview of the findings and recommendations of a report on assessment methods for exposure to carcinogens and work-related cancer. A tabular overview of relevant occupational factors: chemical, physical and biological exposures, as well as other possibly carcinogenic working environment conditions (such as shift and night work), is followed by a short description of exposure assessment tools and some new approaches designed to assess and help prevent occupational cancer risks. The recommendations from the report are summarised in an overview table and make reference to examples from the national, European and workplace level.
Women and men are not the same, and the jobs they do, their working conditions and circumstances and how society treats them are not the same. All these factors can affect the risks they face at work and the approach that needs to be taken to prevent these risks. More widespread recognition of the importance of taking account of gender differences in occupational safety and health (OSH) is relatively recent, although the number of initiatives seen in this area is increasing. However, especially because it is not always a very well understood area, practice needs to be exchanged and experiences shared. This report presents examples of policies, programmes and practices from across the EU and worldwide to illustrate gender approaches in OSH.