Workers' safety and health in green jobs

The EU is working hard to balance economic growth with the need to protect the
environment, and has set itself challenging targets for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions, increasing energy efficiency and promoting renewable energy, and
reducing waste. This has given rise to a wide range of green jobs - jobs which
contribute to preserving the environment, or restoring it to what it was. If
they are to be truly sustainable, though, we need to make sure that these jobs
provide safe, healthy and decent working conditions. Green jobs need to be good
for workers, as well as good for the environment.

Green jobs covers a wide range of different jobs in different sectors, and
involves a diverse workforce. Green jobs can be understood as contributing, in
some way, to the preservation or restoration of the environment. They can
include jobs that help to protect ecosystems and biodiversity, or reduce
consumption of energy and raw materials, or reduce waste and pollution. Our
purpose at EU-OSHA is to raise awareness of the need for good occupational
safety and health (OSH) in these jobs. Green jobs need to provide safe, healthy
and decent working conditions in order to contribute to a truly smart,
sustainable and inclusive growth and meet the objectives of the European
Commission's Europe 2020 Strategy.

In the rapidly expanding sector of green jobs, new and emerging risks are
likely to develop. That's why there was held a workshop in November 2013 in
Bilbao with the network of national authorities on occupational safety and
health. The debate was focused on how to address the new and emerging risks
identified in EU-OSHA's foresight study and how to create safer and healthier
green jobs for the future.

A summary of the workshop offers information on planning and decision-making in
green jobs aimed at European policymakers, trade unions and employers.

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