EU-OSHA embraces online opportunities to engage Europe in OSH

Promoting a culture of risk prevention to improve working conditions across Europe has been at the heart of EU-OSHA’s vision for 25 years. The Agency has achieved this goal by embracing the internet as an effective tool for reaching target audiences and raising awareness of occupational safety and health (OSH).

Taking the leap

In 1996 — when many public organisations had no web presence at all — in its first annual report EU-OSHA set out its intention to use the internet as the main communication tool to have access to a wide range of organisations and workplaces more easily. The first step was launching its own website in 1999. During the website’s first 4 years, recorded user sessions increased from 416,000 to 1.73 million.

Following such success, EU-OSHA began an email-based newsletter — OSHmail — in 2001 containing condensed information and links to OSH news and events. Today, OSHmail reaches thousands of  subscribers on a monthly basis and can also be accessed via the website.

Currently, EU-OSHA has a suite of websites, including its corporate and campaign websites with their web highlights, press releases and links to publications, tools and other online resources. These websites not only continue to offer authoritative information on OSH but have also significantly extended the Agency’s reach because they are multilingual — over 2.4 million visits were registered in 2018. EU-OSHA’s commitment to multilingualism was acknowledged in 2017 when, together with two other EU bodies, it won the European Ombudsman Award for Good Administration for its innovative work on the translation management of multilingual websites.

Digital innovation

The internet has enabled EU-OSHA to not only effectively raise awareness of OSH over the last 25 years but also develop and disseminate a wide variety of tools and resources. Launching the Online interactive Risk Assessment (OiRA) platform in 2011 and the online encyclopaedia OSHwiki in 2014 provided immediate access to an unprecedented amount of OSH information, tools and best practice.

EU-OSHA’s data visualisation tools present facts and figures about a range of OSH issues across Europe, including how risks are managed, working conditions, demographics, health impact, policies and strategies. The user-friendly tools display key findings and data that can be filtered by country, sector and other variables.

Our interactive data visualisation tools allow the OSH community to visualise, compare and share data on timely issues such as ageing, OSH management and the economics of OSH, and enable our stakeholders to make evidence-based decisions.

Dr Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA Director

Social media presence

In the last decade, social media has allowed EU-OSHA to actively engage stakeholders far and wide in the OSH discussion. Its presence on social media channels —Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Slideshare — provides its partners with up-to-date information and resources, which they can easily access and share.

EU-OSHA has used the opportunities that social media offers — such as live coverage and virtual interaction — to successfully promote events and encourage involvement in campaigns. Its first live Twitter chat in 2014 was a notable success. What’s more, the Healthy Workplaces Campaign Summit in 2017 generated such a buzz of activity that #EUOSHASummit was trending in Spain during the event.

To meet its stakeholders’ needs, EU-OSHA uses the latest tools to analyse its online performance and keep on top of trends. And such efforts have been successful. As of September 2019, it recorded:

  • 19,600 Twitter followers
  • 27,500 Facebook followers
  • 22,300 LinkedIn followers
  • 6,900 YouTube subscribers and over 2 300 000 views.

 In 2019, @EU_OSHA celebrates 25 years of effective communication and a pioneering approach to promoting #EUhealthyworkplaces.