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Who knows the risk? Challenge to improve education and knowledge infrastructure for workers and companies
  1. Frank van Dijk
  1. Correspondence to Em. Professor Dr Frank van Dijk, Foundation Learning and Developing Occupational Health (LDOH), Speelkamp 28, 3831 PE Leusden, The Netherlands; v.dijk.workandhealth{at}gmail.com

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The large-scale study of Dragano, et al1 informs us about the knowledge of workers about health and safety risks at their job, a subject often taken for granted. The topic is related to the responsibility of employers to provide health and safety instructions to their employees, reinforced by legal obligations as specified in the European Framework Directive on Safety and Health (1989). Surprisingly, there is not much valid information on this subject, and evaluation studies are scarce. In this study, the knowledge of employees in 27 European Union (EU) countries has been evaluated, using the European Working Conditions Survey in 2010 and a few other sources.

The central question of the study was “Regarding the health and safety risks related to performance of your job, how well informed would you say you are”. About 10% of the workers reported that they were ‘not very well’ or ‘not at all’ informed. The question did not explore the source of information. Being uninformed was associated with being younger than 50–60 years, low education, a lower occupational position, working in the private sector, being new at the workplace, as well as working with a temporary contract and in smaller companies. These outcomes …

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