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“Jointly for better working conditions”

EFBWW Safety and Health Action Days 2015 

The EFBWW will be organising European occupational safety and health action days for the fifth time this year. The action days are scheduled from 26 to 30 October.

This year’s event is taking place against a particularly challenging backdrop, as precarious work continues to increase. A key feature of this process is the undermining of hard-fought standards, not least in the area of occupational safety and health. At the same time, established employment rights in the area of worker participation are being overturned.

The crisis has only added to the pressure on workers, with working conditions worsening for many categories of workers. Indeed, according to the latest statistics, accident numbers are rising again in some areas while the number of fatal occupational diseases remains many times higher than that of fatal occupational accidents.

Rather than tackling the problem, politicians are actually contributing to the erosion of regulated labour relations. At European level, existing occupational safety law is at very real risk. Under the positive-sounding banner of “Better Regulation”, a political coalition could be forming which will dismantle existing legal standards. British prime minister David Cameron expressly favours such an approach and is doing the rounds of Europe to drum up support by playing on the scenario of a possible UK exit.

In recent years, the EFBWW has focused much attention on the casualisation of work and has been a driving force in the specific campaign to eliminate all remaining asbestos in Europe. At its spring meeting, the Coordination Group decided to adopt a slightly broader theme for this year’s action days. The national affiliates are currently concentrating their efforts on diverse areas and believe that a number of topics need to be addressed. This broader approach to our action days could also send out a signal to policymakers, namely that many areas of occupational safety and health need to be improved!

After discussion of the matter, the Coordination Group determined that the action days would focus on three main risks:

  • Asbestos

  • Musculoskeletal disorders

  • Psychosocial risks

We intend to promote the need for good cooperation in occupational safety and health as an overarching theme that will link all of the topics, which is why we have opted to give this year’s action day the title “Jointly for better working conditions”.

Poster “Jointly for better working conditions”
Jointly for better working conditions