In workplaces, dangerous substances are more common than we think. These substances are present in many workplaces and in all sectors: we can find a very high percentage of exposed workers in agriculture, manufacturing and construction fields. Many are unaware that not only chemicals, like glues, pesticides and cleaning products pose risks. Contaminants produced by working processes, such as silica dust from cutting stones, welding fumes or natural materials like grain dust and even water can be hazardous if not managed effectively. This leads to risks and health problems, among which there are allergies, skin irritation, lung diseases and cancer. Itís estimated that carcinogens in the workplace cause around 80 thousand deaths per year in the EU. Some groups of workers, can be particularly sensitive to risks: women, migrant workers, temporary workers and young workers. It might be because they are physically more vulnerable, they are inexperienced or change job frequently. So, what can you do? Everyone in a workplace should actively participate to establish a culture of prevention. Firstly, identify hazards, make a register of substances used and generated in the workplace. Collect information about what kind of danger they could cause and in what way. Assess exposure identifying those who may be exposed, including contracted staff like cleaners and maintenance workers. Secondly, plan risk reduction measures following the Stop Principle hierarchy. Elimination of dangerous substances and their substitution are EU legislationís first priority. If not possible, Technological and Organisational solutions must be considered. Lastly, Personal protection is essential. Enterprises can benefit in many ways investing in occupational safety and health. Workers are more motivated and productive. Costs of workers’ diseases and absences are reduced together with staff turnover. With the Healthy Workplaces campaign, we aim to share good practices, raise awareness on rules and regulations and make employers aware of how they can eliminate dangerous substances or reduce any risks. Our multi-lingual interactive e-tool for small businesses provides tailored good practices check lists and advice to better manage dangerous substances and safe handling of chemicals. Our website contains resources in 25 languages, such as a database of practical tools, audio-visual materials, and campaign toolkit. Get involved, join the campaign! Go to and discover how to manage dangerous substances. © European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2018