Internationally, the debate on aims for occupational health policy is expanding its horizons.
Included among the issues are not only concerns about safety for workers, but also for their progeny.
Equality among the sexes is also assuming a prominent position.
In several countries, existing and proposed legislation already considers these matters.
In the course of this article it is argued that this legislation and its implementation are inadequate.
There are several reasons for this.
Firstly, what constitutes health risks for workers exposed to chemical substances is subject to different interpretations.
This is further complicated when one includes risks to reproductive function and to the progeny : the reproductive risks of toxicity.
The different interpretations of the concepts of safety and equality are also discussed.
These aspects are considered and it is probable that the policy aims should be made more specific.
An elaborated approach that includes the « precautionary principle » in safety standards is proposed.
To advise employers in their role as managers of reproductive risks of toxicity, a recently developed system for occupational health and safety services is described.
The effectiveness criterion includes the precautionary principle ; the reasonableness criterion includes equal rights and opportunities for men and women.
Finally, a supportive governmental policy that is consistent with the most recent international developments is recommended.
Mots-clés Pascal : Composé chimique, Toxicité, Gestation, Nouveau né pathologie, Foetus pathologie, Descendance, Politique sanitaire, Milieu professionnel, Médecine travail, Pays Bas, Sexe, Evaluation, Risque, Exposition professionnelle, Europe
Mots-clés Pascal anglais : Chemical compound, Toxicity, Pregnancy, Newborn diseases, Fetal diseases, Progeny, Health policy, Occupational environment, Occupational medicine, Netherlands, Sex, Evaluation, Risk, Occupational exposure, Europe
Notice produite par :
Inist-CNRS - Institut de l'Information Scientifique et Technique
Cote : 95-0377218
Code Inist : 002B30B03. Création : 01/03/1996.