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Dangerous substances: a real cause of work-related illnesses

23 October 2018
by UEAPME -- last modified 23 October 2018

In the context of the European Week for Safety and Health at Work, UEAPME welcomes the raising awareness actions related to the campaign managed by OSHA.


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As an official partner of the "Healthy Workplaces Campaign - Managing Dangerous Substances", UEAPME is engaged in promoting health and safety measures towards SME organisations. UEAPME hence supports its member organisations so SMEs can practically reduce the effects of exposure to carcinogenic substances. Aside from support to continuous awareness raising at EU and national level, UEAPME supports establishing realistic and proportionate minimum standards and limit values at EU.

Crafts and SMEs support this campaign to raise awareness of a predominant causes of work-related illnesses caused by dangerous substances. According to the European Survey on Working Conditions, the proportion of workers that report being exposed to chemicals for at least a quarter of their working time remains at around 17 %, and it is therefore a priority for UEAPME to help tackle those risks in the best way possible.

Dangerous substances are a threat to the health of workers and employers. A culture of risk prevention is important to keep raising awareness and to come to workable solutions at company level, in particular for micro-enterprises.

SMEs, especially micro-companies, need tailored support in adapting their workplaces and/or work process in the most feasible way due to limited resources. Healthy workplaces are a win-win for employers and employees, and for UEAPME it is an important signal to join this campaign.

Aside from support to continuous awareness raising at EU and national level, UEAPME supports establishing realistic and proportionate minimum standards and limit values at EU level to limit exposure of workers to carcinogenic substances.

These standards need to be based on robust scientific evidence as well as on experience from the company-level in order to achieve rules that can be implemented at reasonable cost by all companies.

In all of its work, UEAPME aims at highlighting the need to fully apply the "Think Small First" principle at all levels for existing and new health and safety regulations.

UEAPME is the employers' organisation representing Crafts and SMEs from the EU and accession countries at European level. UEAPME has 64 member organisations covering about 12 million enterprises with 55 million employees. UEAPME is a European Social Partner.

UEAPME - the European craft and SME employers' organisation