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Roadmap on Carcinogens

 Jun 2017

In May 2016, six organisations made an agreement to reduce exposure to carcinogens in the workplace. They include:

  • The Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection
  • BusinessEurope (European employers)
  • The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)
  • The European Commission
  • The European Trade Union Confederation
  • The Netherlands Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment

A carcinogen is any physical, chemical or biological agent capable of causing cancer. Cancer is thought to be the leading cause of work-related deaths in the EU, with more than 100,000 people dying from work-related cancer each year.

Carcinogen exposure is a major contributing factor to these deaths, the direct costs of which are estimated to be 2.4 billion Euros. Clearly more can be done to reduce the number of occupational cancer cases. Enter the 'Covenant on Carcinogens'.

Taking action

The 'Covenant on Carcinogens' commits participating organisations to an action scheme. This involves raising awareness of the risks of carcinogens and exchanging good practices.

Roadmap on CarcinogensA Roadmap for the scheme has been drawn up by members of the covenant, will run between 2016 and 2019. It includes various initiatives to be developed and implemented over the next few years, focusing on:

  • Educating employees on limit values
  • Providing employers with information about risk assessment methods
  • Improving safety culture and behaviour
  • Providing information on good practices
  • Mentoring and partnership roles on specific parts of the action scheme

Member states, social partners, companies and research organisations across Europe are all encouraged to take part.

Employers and workers are also urged to take part by implementing good practices and sharing their involvement on the Roadmap website.


Share your good practice – upload your good practice initiatives here.

Read the ‘Basic Rules’ of using carcinogenic substances in the workplace. They centre around the easy to remember STOP principles - Substitution, Technical measures, Organisational measures, Personal Protection.

With more than 23 events already run and a further 18 scheduled for the coming period, take a look at the event page for what's going on in your area.


A poster forms a graphical description of the roadmap on carcinogens as a whole.

Use a banner (above) on your website, invitations or presentations.

See OSHwiki for further information on:


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