cover page of "Expert Forecast on Emerging Chemical Risks" report

Major EU Report Cites Emerging Chemical Risks to Workers

A new report from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) titled "Expert Forecast on Emerging Chemical Risks" highlights the growing concern in 21 European countries about workers' exposure to nanoparticles, chemicals, isocyanates, man-made fibers, and complex mixtures. The report identifies the main groups of substances that may pose new and increasing risks to workers, contributing to diseases ranging from allergies, asthma, and infertility to cancers. It says dangerous substances are found in the chemical industry and also in farming, nursing, construction, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

"It is estimated that each year, there are 74,000 work-related deaths linked to hazardous substances encountered in the workplace. This means that 10 times more people die from dangerous substances than from workplace accidents. Many companies do not give enough consideration to the elimination or substitution of hazardous substances. Management of chemical risks is particularly poor in SMEs and subcontractor firms," said Jukka Takala, director of EU-OSHA.

The agency says about 15 percent of European workers report they handle chemical products about 25 percent of the time they spend at work, while 10 percent report inhaling vapors and 19 percent report breathing in dust, fumes, and smoke at their workplaces. REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation, and restriction of Chemicals) is the system in place for controlling chemicals in Europe and requiring manufacturers to provide Safety Data Sheets.

The report was written by 49 experts across Europe. They ranked nanoparticles first among the list of substances from which workers need protection. Dermatitis and other skin diseases and allergies caused by chemical exposures also were high on the list, with the report saying exposure limits for dermal exposures are needed. Occupations of emerging concern where workers face a high risk of coming in contact with hazardous substances include waste management, construction, and service activities, such as cleaning and home health care.

Download Center

HTML - No Current Item Deck
  • Get the Ultimate Guide to OSHA Recordkeeping

    OSHA’s Form 300A posting deadline is February 1! Are you prepared? To help answer your key recordkeeping questions, IndustrySafe put together this guide with critical compliance information.

  • Steps to Conduct a JSA

    We've put together a comprehensive step-by-step guide to help you perform a job safety analysis (JSA), which includes a pre-built, JSA checklist and template, steps of a JSA, list of potential job hazards, and an overview of hazard control hierarchy.

  • Levels of a Risk Matrix

    Risk matrices come in many different shapes and sizes. Understanding the components of a risk matrix will allow you and your organization to manage risk effectively.

  • Free Safety Management Software Demo

    IndustrySafe Safety Management Software helps organizations to improve safety by providing a comprehensive toolset of software modules to help businesses identify trouble spots; reduce claims, lost days, OSHA fines; and more.

  • Industry Safe
TenCate FR Technology

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - October 2020

    October 2020

    Featuring:

    • FACILITY SECURITY
      EHS Compliance: Make it Personal
    • FOOT PROTECTION
      Choosing the Right Safety Shoe for Your Industry
    • HAND PROTECTION
      A Requirements Checklists for Work Safety Gloves
    • COVID-19 MANAGEMENT
      Contemporary Issues in HSE Management
    View This Issue