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European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

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OSHA Network


View the seminar: Seminar on women at work - Raising the profile of women and Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)


The following Speeches are contained inside this folder.
  • Welcome - Dr. Jukka Takala, Director, EU-OSHA

    Jukka Takala reiterated the importance of the gender aspect to the Agency, especially in the context of the widening of the European Union to 27 Member States, the four European Economic Area (EEA) countries as well as the candidate countries. He outlined the mortality differences between men and women, acknowledging that while men work in more accident-prone occupations such as construction and mining, there are differences in illness and especially within communicable diseases, as women are more likely to work within the health sector. Even when the genders work the same occupation, for example taxi drivers, their behaviours differ, with women having many fewer accidents than men. These differences should be explored to better target prevention. He finished his presentation by stating that gender mainstreaming is an issue that is not widely accepted, but one which requires more attention and is key to EU-OSHA´s work. The seminar was also supported by the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the European Union

  • Institute for the equality of women and men, on behalf of the Belgian Presidency

    Françoise Goffinet noted that the Council is working to reinforce attention to the gender dimension in employment. This could be achieved by ensuring equal pay between the genders and that violence against women is reduced.

  • Previous EU-OSHA research and policy actions of EU- OSHA

    Sarah Copsey (Project Manager, EU-OSHA) gave a presentation on the importance of gender mainstreaming to OSH, and highlighted the fact that women work in jobs and sectors that have different exposures and health outcomes to those experienced by men

  • WHO actions on gender and health/OSH

    Rokho Kim (WHO, European Centre for Environment and Health) gave an overview of WHO's Occupational Health Programme and related actions on gender and health, and highlighted the importance of recognising that women are now more than 40% of the workforce.

  • Why is occupational safety and health a gender equality issue?

    The modern day workplace is now more diversified than ever, while there is increasing evidence of new forms of ill health resulting from for example, stress at work, long working hours and a lack of autonomy. The structure of the labour market, the organisation of work, working hours, and policies on fundamental rights and employment protection, are all relevant to a preventative approach to the OSH risks faced by women in the workplace.

  • Preliminary findings from the 5th European Working Conditions Survey

    Agnes Parent-Thirion (Eurofound) presented the preliminary findings from the 5th European Working Conditions Survey.

  • Risks’ perception at workplaces: gender differences or structural constraints?

    Empirical support from a survey of 800 cases - Dr. Elena Battaglini Coordinator Research Area on Environment, Territory and Safety, IRES – Rome IT

  • Recent EU-OSHA project results – Occupational safety and health aspects in women’s work

    The backdrop to the seminar was the presentation of the results of the recent research study carried out on gender, work and occupational safety and health by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). This research, which is currently being finalised, has engaged in a detailed review of the literature regarding gender and occupational safety and health, and an analysis of the new risks and trends impacting on the safety and health of women at work.

  • Discussion

    This first set of presentations was followed by a discussion, which Jane Pillinger facilitated. The main points to emerge during this discussion among the participants were:

  • Discussion and conclusions

    The participants were presented with key questions in order to promote discussion: What are the policy issues that need to be addressed? What are the safety and health issues that are specific to women, and what issues do they share with men? What are the issues faced by specific groups of women, including women in low paid, low valued jobs; women working part-time, temporary, shift work or irregular hours; older women in the workplace; disabled women; younger women; minority ethnic and migrant women? How can different stakeholders take a role in progressing both a gender perspective in this area, with a focus on the new and specific risks faced by women? How can we achieve better policy coordination in this area? nto what strategic direction does this work now need to progress?