A recent resolution passed by the European Parliament has called for new technologies to be covered by current EU health and safety rules.
The resolution notes that every year, 168,000 EU citizens die from work-related accidents or diseases and seven million are injured in accidents.
The potential risks of new technologies and harmful substances must be assessed, and legislation drafted to ensure that nanomaterials are covered by the current European Occupational Health and Safety regulation.
Furthermore, individuals who legitimately warn of risks at work should be protected from any pressure to remain silent, say MEPs, who are calling on the European Commission to propose a directive to protect these workers.
MEPs also would like to see more steps taken to tackle the problem of work-related stress, which is a major obstacle to productivity in Europe. They have called on the Commission to take measures to ensure that the EU Framework agreement on work-related stress of 8th October 2004 is duly implemented in every Member State. They are also asking employees' and employers' organisations to raise awareness among employers, workers and their representatives of the need to reduce work-related stress.
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