2014-01-01 12:00 - Messages

Quality of life in Europe

Trends 2003-2012
Eurofound has conducted the European Quality of Life Survey EQLS) in 2003, 2007 and 2011. This report compares the results from the three waves to provide evidence of trends and change in the quality of life of Europeans over a decade. It also examines whether differences across EU Member States have narrowed or remained stable. One of its findings is that subjective well-being has remained stable across the EU as whole, but it also finds that financial strain in households has grown in the wake of the economic crisis. The report proposes a more active approach to social protection, as lower household income is a strong negative influence on quality of life, and especially so in an economic downturn.

Source : http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/publications/htmlfiles/ef1364.htm

Working conditions of professional athletes

Professional athletes in Europe rarely have the benefit of collective agreements or social dialogue to help establish good basic working conditions and some form of employment protection. A study prepared by the sector's social partners, UNI Europa Sport Pro and EU Athletes, says that many have no formal employment contract at all, and lack of insurance or pension provision is all too common. In its conclusion, the social partners call on the European Commission to foster encourage social dialogue in the sector.

Source : http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/ewco/2013/09/EU1309011I.htm

Using Workers’ Compensation Records for Safety and Health Research

Workers' compensation insurance has been established in all states to provide income protection, medical treatment, and rehabilita­tion for employees who are injured or become ill as a result of work.  Workers' compensation claims and medical treatment records along with other information resources have been used to conduct occupational safety and health research and surveillance and to identify intervention needs. The Washington State Department of Labor and Industries Safety and Health Assessment and Research for Prevention (SHARP) program, among many other public health agencies, have produced numerous publications based on workers' compensation data analysis.

Source : http://blogs.cdc.gov/niosh-science-blog/2014/01/10/workers-comp/

Health and safety in waste and recycling in Great Britain, 2013

The information in this document relates to Health and Safety Statistics for 2012/13. The document can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/waste-recycling/. There is a general downward trend in the rate of injury over the last eight years, but there is also significant year-to-year variation, especially in the number of fatalities. Injury numbers have been falling for the last four years or longer.
Nevertheless, waste and recycling remains a high-risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 0.6% of the employees in Britain it still accounts for 2.8% of reported injuries to employees (11% fatalities, 2.6% major and 2.8% of over seven day injuries).

Source : http://www.hse.gov.uk/statistics/industry/waste-recycling/waste-recycling.pdf?ebul=gd-Waste+cr=1/Jan14

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

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.

Source : https://osha.europa.eu/en/publications/reports/new-risks-and-trends-in-the-safety-and-health-of-women-at-work/view

Measuring Production Loss due to Health and Work Environment Problems

Construct Validity and Implications
Objective: The aim was to validate two measures of production loss, health-related and work environment–related production loss, concerning their associations with health status and work environment factors.
Methods: Validity was assessed by evaluating the construct validity. Health problems related and work environment–related problems (or factors) were included in separate analyses and evaluated regarding the significant difference in proportion of explained variation (R2) of production loss.
Result: health problems production loss was not found to fulfill the criteria for convergent validity in this study; however, the measure of work environment–related production loss did fulfill the criteria that were set up.
Conclusion: The measure of work environment–related production loss can be used to screen for production loss due to work environment problems as well as an outcome measure when evaluating the effect of organizational interventions.

Source : Lohela Karlsson, Malin PhD; Bergström, Gunnar PhD; Björklund, Christina PhD; Hagberg, Jan PhD; Jensen, Irene PhD. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: December 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 12 - p 1475–1483.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000000005

Industrial relations and working conditions developments in Europe 2012

This annual review describes the main developments in industrial relations and working conditions in 2012 in the former 27 EU Member States and in Croatia and Norway, at both national and EU level. The report first sketches the current economic situation in these 29 countries, pointing to relevant political and legislative developments in individual countries. It discusses trends in industrial relations, including changes in the role and organisation of the social partners and the impact of government measures and legislation. The report highlights policies and initiatives, legislative developments and collective bargaining landmarks in five areas – employment conditions, wages, health and safety, skills and competencies, and working time – from the dual perspective of working conditions and industrial relations developments.

Source : http://www.eurofound.europa.eu/comparative/tn1304021s/tn1304021s.htm

Trends in compensation for deaths from occupational cancer in Canada

A descriptive study
Background Occupational cancer is the leading cause of work-related deaths, yet it is often unrecognized and under reported, and associated claims for compensation go unfiled. We sought to examine trends in deaths from occupational cancer, high-risk industries and exposures, and commonly compensated categories of occupational cancers. In addition, we compared deaths from occupational lung cancer for which compensation had been given with total deaths from lung cancer.
Methods We used data from the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada pertaining to the nature and source of the injury or disease and the industry in which it occurred (by jurisdiction) to describe trends in compensated claims for deaths from occupational cancer in Canada for the period 1997–2010. We used data published by the Canadian Cancer Society in Canadian Cancer Statistics to compare compensated occupational lung cancer deaths with total estimated lung cancer deaths for the period between 2006 and 2010.
Results Compensated claims for deaths from occupational cancer have increased in recent years and surpassed those for traumatic injuries and disorders in Canada, particularly in Ontario. Between 1997 and 2010, one-half of all compensated deaths from occupational cancer in Canada were from Ontario. High-risk industries for occupational cancer include manufacturing, construction, mining and, more recently, government services. Deaths from lung cancer and mesothelioma comprise most of the compensated claims for deaths from occupational cancer in Ontario and Canada. These diseases are usually the result of asbestos exposure. The burden of other occupational carcinogens is not reflected in claims data.
Interpretation Although the number of accepted claims for deaths from occupational cancers has increased in recent years, these claims likely only represent a fraction of the true burden of this problem. Increased education of patients, workers at high risk of exposure and health care providers is needed to ensure that people with work-related cancer are identified and file a claim for compensation.

Source : Ann Del Bianco, PhD, Paul A. Demers, PhD, Workplace Environment Health and Safety Reporter, October 2013, Vol. 19, no 10, p. 3607.
http://dx.doi.org/10.9778/cmajo.20130015

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