Emerging risks

Policy overview report on Surgical smoke – An underestimated health hazard

Surgical smoke occurs during surgery and is produced by the electrosurgical devices used to cut and dissect tissue. It contains a variety of chemical and biological substances, and may also transmit infections, which carry a number of potential risks for those exposed to it, including irritation of the eyes and skin, acute headaches, allergic rhinitis, and chronic lung conditions such as occupational asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

The Surgical Smoke Coalition, a pan-European movement created to raise awareness of the risks associated with surgical smoke, has published its policy overview report ‘Surgical smoke – An underestimated health hazard’.

The report sets out a series of concrete recommendations for policymakers, regulators, hospital leaders and medical associations to address the risks of surgical smoke at both EU and national levels.

You can read EU-OSHA´s Exposure to biological agents and related health problems for healthcare workers discussion paper, and the summary report Biological agents and prevention of work-related diseases: a review.

New report on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the health and care workforce

Maintaining a healthy and productive health and care workforce is essential to delivering safe, high-quality, patient-centered care to populations worldwide.

A new report by the Qatar Foundation, World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH), in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO) finds that at least a quarter of health and care workers surveyed reported anxiety, depression and burnout symptoms. 

Our duty of care: A global call to action to protect the mental health of health and care workers examines the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the mental health of the health and care workforce.

The report highlights 10 policy actions as a framework for immediate uptake, such as investing in workplace environments and culture that prevent burnout, promote staff well-being, and support quality care.

Read the report

Press Release by WHO

Networking event of the G7 OSH institutions - Climate Change meets Occupational Safety and Health

Climate change and its various effects will be major challenges for the international community in the near future. It will have a significant impact on working conditions.

Ensuring occupational safety and health in times of climate change in a green economy are of high priority for the German G7 presidency in the Employment Track. Therefore, the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) and the Institutes of the German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) seek to address relevant topics in a networking event.

On 17 October 2022 in Dresden (Germany), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is participating in this event to discuss climate change related challenges, research results, lessons learned and solutions for healthy and safe work in times of climate change at international level.

The overall goal is to learn from the different approaches in the participating countries and to identify potential for future, joint possibilities and solutions.

Registration by 16 September

Managing occupational safety and health in a warmer planet

2021 had Europe’s warmest summer on record, according to the European State of the Climate 2021 by Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Summer 2022 has not even started, and the heat forecast gets close to 40 °C in France and exceeds 45 °C in Spain. Europe is experiencing extraordinarily hot weather for this time of the year, but is this a global trend that can already be observed and will continue in the future?

We made a practical compilation of resources on the impact of heat and heatwaves on workers’ health, safety, and wellbeing from those countries outside the EU where extreme temperatures are more ordinary.

Find out some infographics, posters, podcasts, fact sheets, and publications produced by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety

Discover the guidance material on managing the risks of working in heat by Safe Work Australia

Check out the videos: Napo in… Heat stress (Walk the talk) and Napo in… Heat stress (The duel)