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ISSUE 53 page 7

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Health & Safety

European survey: big concern of managers is stress

 MANAGERS ARE AS CONCERNED ABOUT STRESS AS THEY ARE ABOUT accidents at work according to the biggest workplace health and safety survey in Europe which carried out 36,000 interviews across all 27 EU Member States in both the public and private sectors. The European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER) conducted for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) found that around 80% of managers named both problems; in health and social work and education concern about stress reached even higher levels. Worryingly only 26% of EU employers were found to have plans in place to deal with it. Involving the work force seems to be the key to solving health and safety problems: 84% of companies with worker representation, such as unions, had a policy or action plan compared to only
71% of those without. As for the reasons for the rise of psychosocial risks that lead to stress, managers put ‘time pressure’ at the top of the tablefollowed by ‘dealing with difficult customers’. Scandinavian countries reported the most acute concern about the pace of work withmanagers in Italy, Hungary and Latvia  least likely to be worried. Not surprisingly Swedish employers were most likely to have anti-stress procedures in place followed by those from the UK and Ireland while Greece was the country where they were  least common. ‘The ESENER survey highlights the importance of providing effective support for enterprises to tackle stress, which will be crucial in ensuring we have the healthy productive workforce needed to boost European economic performance and competitiveness’ commented EU-OSHA director Jukka Takala.

Managers’ concerns about psychosocial risks at work



Turkish mariners found in ‘appalling conditions’ on Merseyside ship
Hair & Beauty partners improve EU law

TURKISH, GEORGIAN AND AZERI mariners have been found putting up with dreadful conditions by an International Transport Federation (ITF) inspector in Birkenhead who was alerted to their plight by members in Turkey who said that the company also had a history of not paying wages. A separate probe by UK maritime authorities resulted in the detaining of the Most Sky owned by Er-Em Shipping and Trading of Istanbul after the alarm was raised by the pilot. The ITF’s Tommy Molloy discovered crew members without heating or fresh food enduring appalling shower and toilet facilities. As well as wages they were owed the cost of repatriation to their home countries. Mr. Molloy commented ‘The vessel is only four years old but it looks about 20. It appears that nothing has been spent on maintenance … it won't leave until all deficiencies have been put right and all claims satisfied’


Most Sky mariners buy bread

Employers and trade unions meeting as EU social partners have come to an agreement  that goes further in protecting hairdressing and beauty workers than the Cosmetics Regulation passed by the EU in November 2009. Employers’ and union organisations from 12 countries as well as research bodies and social agencies came together in Dresden, Germany to call for better training and information on the hundreds of chemicals found in hair products. The ‘Dresden Declaration’ also aims to encourage and improve the use of personal protective equipment. According to Belgian union confederation FGTB the regulation is too weak: ‘Even after lobbying by the trade unions, the new law takes no account whatever of long-term occupational exposure to cosmetic products’.


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