'Serious Gaps' in EU Workers' Nano Knowledge: EU OSHA

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work reviewed current research on the topic and concluded knowledge of the risks posed by nanomaterials is still poor.

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, also known as EU OSHA, completed a review of current research on nanomaterials and concluded workers' knowledge of the risks they pose is still poor.

"We are facing nanotechnology in our everyday life in many products and applications. Although health and environmental hazards have been demonstrated for some manufactured nanomaterials, they are used in food, cosmetics, textiles, paints, sporting goods, electronics, detergents, and many health and fitness products. And they are present in many workplaces, too. Currently, there are over 1,000 consumer products listed, produced by more than 500 companies in 30 countries. 300,000 to 400,000 jobs in the EU deal directly with nanotechnology and manufactured nanomaterials are handled in many more workplaces down the supply chain; 75% of them are small and medium-sized enterprises," the agency said in its June 20 communication about the review.

It said 54 percent of Europeans do not know what nanotechnology is, and awareness is low even in workplaces where manufactured nanomaterials are found. "For example, 75% of workers and employers in construction are not aware they work with them," it said.

While some efforts to improve risk awareness are under way, more needs to be done, preferably by policymakers, national occupational safety and health bodies, public health agencies, and other stakeholders working together, EU OSHA said.

The agency has developed an online database of companies' best practices for managing manufactured nanomaterials in eight EU Member States and industries such as textiles, construction, and medicine. The database is available here.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - June 2022

    June 2022

    Featuring:

    • SAFETY CULTURE
      Corporate Safety Culture Is Workplace Culture
    • HEAT STRESS
      Keeping Workers Safe from Heat-Related Illnesses & Injuries
    • EMPLOYEE HEALTH SCREENING
      Should Employers Consider Oral Fluid Drug Testing?
    • PPE FOR WOMEN
      Addressing Physical Differences
    View This Issue