EU-Eurofound's Fifth European Working Conditions survey 2010 - first results

The pattern of employment continues to change across Europe, with an ongoing
shift from agriculture and manufacturing into services , and persistent gender
segregation in different jobs and occupations. Work intensity remains at a high
level, while there has been little or no increase in the intellectual
challenges that work poses; workers enjoy essentially the same levels of
autonomy as they did a decade ago, but monotonous work seems to be somewhat
more common. European workers remain as exposed to physical hazards as they did
20 years ago, reflecting the fact that many Europeans' jobs still involve
physical labour. For instance, 33% of workers carry heavy loads at least a
quarter of their working time, while 23% are exposed to vibrations - figures
unchanged since 2000. Nor are physical hazards confined to manual workers:
nearly half of all workers (46%) work in tiring or painful positions at least a
quarter of the time. Moreover, repetitive hand or arm movements are a feature
of work for more Europeans than 10 years ago.

Consequently, substantial numbers of Europeans do not feel confident about
being able to remain in their current job until the age of 60.

Fieldwork for the 5th European Working Conditions Survey was carried out
between January and June of 2010. The questionnaire covered precarious
employment, leadership styles and worker participation as well as the general
job context, working time, work organisation, pay, work-related health risks,
cognitive and psychosocial factors, work-life balance and access to training. A
number of questions were included to capture the impact of the economic
downturn on working conditions.

More information: - Source: European Agency for Safety and Health at Work