What do Europeans think about their working conditions?

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) recently published results for a Europe-wide survey conducted on occupational safety and health. The results show that a lot of Europeans have concern that the current economic crisis could adversely affect the safety and health risk for the last five years occurred improvements. Many Europeans think they are well informed about safety and health, and recognize it as an important factor in choosing a new job.

The economic downturn causes the pressure on employees in Europe

According to the survey 6 of 10 Europeans provides that the global economic downturn will make working conditions worse, especially health and safety. Most respondents (75%) believe that the health problems at least partly are caused by the work of the people.

EU-OSHA director Jukka Takala awares the challenges with which today entrepreneurs are facing and recalls the need to invest in employee health: “Because of the financial crisis organizations can ignore workplace safety and health significance or reduce it.

There is a risk that employers will reduce the contribution of work safety and health (OSH). EU-OSHA task is to convince them that this is not the right time to get some small benefit instead of long-term problems.

Salary and job security are key issues

Because of the unemployment people are more concerned about the current job stability, not about working conditions of security and safety of health.

Reflecting on the key factors determining the choice of a new job, European Union citizens consider that the job security and wage levels are more important factors than a safe and healthy working conditions, the survey ranked in third place before the working day.

Qualitative information – better health protection and job safety

Encouraging news is that people in many countries (particularly in the EU-15) believes that they are well informed about the possible risks of a job and 57% of respondents believe that the last five years, the health and safety is improved.

Gender gaps

Survey results also show people the difference in treatment based on gender OSH. Male respondents on accepting jobs considered wages (61%) and job security (55%), compared with a smaller percentage of women surveyed (53% and 51%). In contrast, women (26%) greater weight than men (19%) give a working day duration.

In addition, more male respondents (62%) than women (only 52%) believe that health and safety conditions in recent years have improved, men (71%) also feel better informed about the safety and health issues than women (61 %).

Jukka Takala, said: “In fact, women in workplace safety and her health risks are not adequately assessed and treated to be lax. Some of the new challenges faced, is the inability to combine work and family life, the”double exchange”, which is still in proportion affects more women, and the fact that more attention is paid to accidents rather than occupational health (and thus more attention is paid industries and occupations that are dominated by men). It is important to implement a gender-specific approach to occupational health and safety issue. EU -OSHA will continue to work with this issue in order to provide a better understanding of European business environment.”

EU-OSHA has played a major role in occupational safety and health process in Europe for over ten years and will continue to implement pro-active approach to improving working conditions.

The agency implemented the campaign “Healthy Workplaces” as well as the European Week for Safety and Health at Work from the 19th to 23rd October, which is the world’s largest information campaign on OSH matters involving thousands of organizations and workers across Europe.


5 thoughts on “What do Europeans think about their working conditions?

  1. I think it is probably true, that in times of a crisis as we had them several months ago and who knows, perhaps it is not over yet, people don’t pay much attention on working conditions. First of all they are glad to have a job and as they know that their enterprise perhaps has huge problems because of the general financial crisis, they don’t have the heart to ask for any social benefits. But generally I think we should have a view all over the world, and we will see, that in Europe there is still a very high level of social health protection and job savety measures!

  2. In my opinion the problem today is, that in general everything becomes more expensive and therefore people want to earn more money. They don’t pay much attention on working conditions. But as one comment before is already mentioned, we can be really lucky to live in a part of the world where condtions in general aren’t as bad as everybody thinks.

  3. Probably you’re right about the reason why the main factor for choosing job is salary, not working conditions, but still everybody should pay attention for that, because sooner or later they will face the health problems and then it will cost much more than the difference in salary from job with good working conditions and the contrary.
    And of course in Europe we don’t have that bad working conditions that in other countries over the world, we should be glad that we’re not living, for example, in Africa or India.

  4. In my opinion working conditions are very important even in a time of economic crisis. If you think about you will see that the conditions are one of the most important factors for the performance of the employees. This is because they can both highly motivate an employee to do and perform its job in the best way, or in the other hand to demotivate the employees.Of course in a time of crisis all employees should be flexible about their working conditions, but concerning only the kind of job they are doing(as we know in a time of crisis the responsibilities of the employees is increasing)and not the working atmosphere for example as it was mentioned in one of the previous comments, because this can affect the health of the employees.

  5. I would say that people do care about working conditions, but clearly not all of them. Before I signed a contract with my former employer I spent one day in the office to see whether it is a suitable working environment for me. Everybody had a chance to do the same before signing a contract. But of course not all people have this chance or are just interested in the contract itself.


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