Summary - New risks and trends in the safety and health of women at work

In 2009 and 2010, the Agency commissioned an update to its 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. This summary 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.

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