EuroCommerce and UNI Europa address physical and psychological risks at work

Thursday 10 November 2016

EuroCommerce and UNI Europa, the recognised social partners for the retail and wholesale sector at EU level, agreed the findings of a comprehensive project at a high-level event in Brussels today. The project included research on improved employee health and safety in the retail and wholesale sector.

This marks the culmination of a 2-year social partners’ project on Improving Health and Safety at the workplace through an efficient social dialogue, to spread best practice related to the health, safety and wellbeing of retail and wholesale employees. The project included a survey to identify the main issues concerning ergonomics, stress at work and psychosocial risks. The comprehensive report of the project findings will be published in the coming weeks, with examples of how to tackle these issues and improve workers’ wellbeing and safety. Examples highlighted in the project included innovative ways of avoiding unnecessary back strain when stacking shelves, identifying risk hotspots in stores, better ergonomics to reduce repetitive strain, designing stores to reduce verbal or physical violence against employees, and providing professional psychological support and advice to staff.

EuroCommerce Director-General Christian Verschueren commented: ‘Retail and wholesale is built on people: we employ 29 million people in a wide range of jobs, and rely on their dedication to quality and good customer service to make our businesses a success. Their physical and psychological health, safety and wellbeing is of paramount importance to us. EuroCommerce was therefore committed to work with our social partner, UNI Europa, in carrying out these assessments and recommendations. They should make work a safer place.’

UNI Europa Regional Secretary, Oliver Roethig concluded: ‘Occupational health and safety is not only in the best interest of workers but also in that of employers and society as a whole. It increases workers’ loyalty and productivity, and reduces costs for the social security system. The cooperation between social partners on all levels from the shop floor to the European level is as crucial on health and safety issues as it is on other subjects. We are happy and proud that the fruitful relationship between UNI Europa and EuroCommerce has led to this excellent study which will soon be released to the wider audience.’

Read the full project report here

Check out the pictures from the conference here