Future of work: Championing safety and health in the digital era

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Future of work: Championing safety and health in the digital era

 

‘Safe and healthy work in the digital age’, the new edition of EU-OSHA’s Healthy Workplaces Campaign kicks off today! 

As digitalisation reshapes our workplaces, this campaign aims to raise awareness, promote collaboration, and pave the way for a future where occupational safety and health remain top priority alongside technological advancement.

The EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign – Safe and healthy work in the digital age – will help employers in the EU to ensure decent working conditions and provide quality jobs.

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights

In a landscape where over 80% of EU enterprises integrate personal computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices, the new Healthy Workplaces Campaign takes centre stage. With 93% of workers in large companies and 85% in micro companies using digital devices, this campaign addresses the evolving dynamics of work, emphasising the imperative of ensuring safety and health in a human-centred digital transformation.

As Artificial Intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and collaborative robots become integral to work processes, the very nature of work is transforming. The campaign recognises the immense potential for improved occupational safety and health (OSH) while confronting emerging risks in this rapidly evolving environment. 

Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, declared: “The world of work has seen a huge transformation in recent years, with the rise of digital technologies, algorithmic management and remote working. It is essential to strike the right balance: as we reap the benefits of the digital age, we must also make sure we don’t compromise on the human-centred approach. The EU-OSHA Healthy Workplaces Campaign – Safe and healthy work in the digital age – will help employers in the EU to ensure decent working conditions and provide quality jobs.”

Joaquín Pérez Rey, interim secretary of State for Employment and Social Economy of Spain and representing the Spanish Presidency of the EU Council, added: “Current policies in the EU are serving as a driver of change in this digital transformation, setting strategic objectives in relation to the digitalisation of companies and measures of society. For this reason, from the Presidency of the Council we highlight the importance of the content of this campaign and the opportunity of its messages so that the technological advances promoted contribute to improving working conditions and the safety and health of workers, as well as stopping the precariousness that threatens employment. This campaign will help drive a digital transformation of the world of work that is fair and leaves no one behind, spreading knowledge about digital solutions that represent opportunities for companies and workers.”

Drawing upon research conducted by EU-OSHA, as outlined in the OSH Overview on Digitalisation, the campaign will explore five priority areas over the next two years: digital platform work, automation of tasks, remote and hybrid work, worker management through Artificial Intelligence and smart digital systems. 

This edition seeks to enhance awareness of the impact of digital transformation on OSH and encourage a safe and productive use of digital technologies across diverse sectors and workplaces. It also aims to foster collaboration among stakeholders, providing resources and promoting proactive risk assessment for a secure and efficient digital transformation of work.

William Cockburn Salazar, Executive Director of the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), closed the declarations as follows: “As Europe’s digital transformation steams ahead, its impact on businesses and workers is far from being fully understood. Strikingly, its potential effect on workers’ safety and health has been discussed in just 24% of workplaces. There’s an urgent need to grasp the opportunities and identify the risks of digitalisation to maximise the benefits of these new technologies for safe, healthy and productive workplaces. That’s precisely what EU-OSHA’s new Healthy Workplaces Campaign, ‘Safe and healthy work in the digital age’, aims to achieve.”

Everyone’s involvement matters. To reach out to workers and employers, EU-OSHA relies on an extensive network of national focal points, official campaign partners, media partners, social partners and other intermediaries, using agency promotion and information material to inspire and encourage others to join the cause of a safe and healthy workforce in the digital age.

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About the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns

About the Healthy Workplaces Campaigns

The Healthy Workplaces Campaigns are at the heart of EU-OSHA’s mission towards safer and healthier workplaces across Europe. They are one of the agency’s flagship awareness-raising activity, delivering a central message: Safety and health at work is everyone's concern. It's good for you. It's good for business. Running since 2000, the campaigns have now become the largest of their kind in the world. A wealth of information and resources in the form of practical guides and tools are made available to any organisation or company looking at improving safety and health in their workplaces. The campaigns feature key milestones, including the Good Practice Awards and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award recognising and celebrating exceptional contributions in promoting OSH, as well as the European Weeks for Safety and Health at Work, taking place each October.

Previous editions focused on preventing and managing work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), managing dangerous substances and promoting healthy workplaces for all ages. 

About EU-OSHA

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns. Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU Member States and beyond.

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