MEPs want to assess the effects of new technologies and nanomaterias on health

The European Parliament passed a resolution on a mid-term review of the EU's 2007-2012 health and safety at work strategy. According to the resolution, the effects of new technologies on health must be assessed and nanomaterials must be covered by current EU health and safety rules.

The European Parliament approved a resolution in which MEPs agreed that the potential risks of new technologies and harmful substances must be assessed, and legislation drafted to ensure that nanomaterials are covered by the current European Occupational Health and Safety regulation. The text which was passed with 371 votes in favour, 47 against and 15 abstentions, notes that every year, 168,000 EU citizens die from work-related accidents or diseases and 7 million are injured in accidents.

In addition, MEPs consider that work-related stress is a major obstacle to productivity in Europe. They therefore calls on the Commission to take measures to ensure that the EU Framework agreement on work-related stress of 8 October 2004 is duly implemented in every Member State and asking employees' and employers' organisations to raise awareness among employers, workers and their representatives of the need to reduce work-related stress. The Commission evaluated the agreement in February 2011.

MEPs also call on the Commission to propose a directive to protect workers who legitimately warn of risks at work which should be protected from any pressure to remain silent.