(January 2017) The latest issue of the European Trade Union Institute's health and safety journal, HesaMag, contains an analysis of the state of labour inspection services across Europe. It finds that, with few exceptions, workforces have been cut while inspectors have been assigned more extensive duties. Labour inspectors have to deal ith many new pressures and risks associated with digitalisation, nanotechnologies, psychosocial stress,working in a context of hostility towards state regulation and monitoring of companies.
Labour inspection services under pressure
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New ETUC research reveals that safety inspections have been cut by a fifth since 2010, falling from 2.2 million annual visits to 1.7 million. Numbers fell in at least 17 countries, including in Germany where 232,000 fewer visits were made in 2018 compared to 2010 and Portugal where checks were cut in half over the same period. Over the same period the number of labour inspectors across Europe fell by more than 1000. Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, Romania and Croatia all saw inspections fall by 35%, with the average fall across the EU at 18%. The ETUC argues that the major cut in labour inspections