02/02/2009

Protecting Restaurant and Hospitality Workers in the EU

In the European Union (EU), almost 8 million people make a living by working in
hotels, restaurants or in catering businesses (the HORECA sector). Made up
mostly of small businesses employing 10 people or less, this sector plays an
important role in creating jobs and in the EU economy overall.

The HORECA sector is considered to be a good way to enter the working world,
and its workforce tends to be comprised of young, female, and lower skilled
individuals. They often work long, irregular hours performing physically
demanding tasks. There are many, varied risks to these workers' safety and
health, resulting from prolonged standing, carrying and lifting, exposure to
high noise levels and working in too hot or cold environments. Workers also
suffer cuts and burns, trips, slips and falls, and come into contact with
dangerous substances. The work can be monotonous, stressful and draining.
Despite the demanding working conditions, the sector does not have
above-average rates of accident and disease.

Recognizing the importance of managing the risks and preventing the causes of
accidents and ill health, the EU produced a report focusing on the HORECA
sector. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work set out to make
information available relating to occupational health and safety in the sector
and to provide an overview of good practices at both the policy and workplace
levels. The report examines policy initiatives and activities that have been
undertaken across the EU to reduce the risk to workers' health and safety, and
identifies success factors. The prevention report discusses how employers and
employees can work together to improve workplace safety and health and
highlights key risk prevention measures.


More info


AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety