ETUC STAND studies

ETUC Study: Trade union access to National Standardisation Committees (2023)

European standards are used to support a wide range of policy objectives, including health and safety at the workplace, energy efficiency or the cybersecurity of connected devices. When underpinning occupational health and safety, work processes or working conditions, the participation of trade unions is crucial to ensure that workers’ voices and concerns are heard and taken into account. But do trade unions have access to participate in standardisation at national level?

The ETUC study: Trade union access to National Standardisation Committees found that across Europe, national trade unions have different conditions to access their respective NSB and national mirror committees. The study investigates the differing standardisation landscape at national level and proposes recommendations on how to improve access for trade unions to standardisation. The study is accompanied by a short brochure which summarises the findings and recommendations.

Cover page ETUC study on access conditions


ETUC Study on ladder safety (2022)

Ladders are often used by workers in the construction sector, agriculture and in the cleaning industry. However, working on ladders involves many risks, as they are carried out at considerable heights. Fall accidents often have dramatic consequences. The design of ladders, but also the durability, ease of use and robustness can however contribute a good, safe and practice-oriented work equipment.

The ETUC therefore commissioned a study to examine window-cleaning ladders and loft ladders with regard to their safety. The study covers the testing of loft ladders and window-cleaning ladders. The results of the study are put forward to CEN/TC 93 ‘Ladders’. The ETUC participated in some selected ladder standards of CEN/TC 93 since 2021.


ETUC study “Role of international and European standards in shaping the world of work in the European Service sector” (2020)

Title of study and link to the study

The 2020 ETUC study looks into the “Role of international and European standards in shaping the world of work in the European Service sector”.

The ETUC study is also available in:

Service standards can, under certain circumstances, benefit working conditions and social dialogue. Such benefits include the influence of service standards in providing a level playing field in their impact on workers and their environment, for instance in training opportunities or privacy at work.

Yet, significant evidence exists regarding the potential pitfalls of service standards for workers. Observed pitfalls refer to service standards setting requirements contradicting existing labour laws and collective agreements or leading to inferior working conditions. They also underline the potential instrumental use of standardisation to by-pass difficult collective bargaining process in the service sector.

The ETUC Leaflet 'The impact of standards on the world of work in Europe' summarises the main findings of the study as well as benefits and pitfalls.

Image of ETUC leaflet cover

Find out more in the study and in the leaflet!