Psychosocial risks and sitting: frequently reported risk factors in 2019 ESENER survey

photo: Aline Dassel via https://pixabay.com/

Having to deal with difficult people, repetitive arm and hand movements, and lifting and moving people or heavy loads are still frequently reported by enterprises as risk factors for workers’ health across Europe. This is according to the first findings of the third European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-3).

The 2019 findings are based on interviews carried out in over 45,000 enterprises of all sizes and sectors in 33 European countries.

Additional questions included in the 2019 survey shed new light on emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) risks — the impact of digitalisation, for instance, and the importance of prolonged sitting, which, ESENER-3 reveals, is now the third-most common risk factor reported by European enterprises.

A comparison with the results of ESENER-2 from 2014 identifies country- and EU-level trends, not only in risk factors, but also in the management of OSH and associated drivers and barriers. Worker participation in managing psychosocial risks, for instance, has decreased in a number of countries despite a participative approach being recognised as important for dealing with these ever more prevalent risks. On the other hand, encouragingly, the proportion of establishments carrying out risk assessments has increased in some countries.

This unique source of data is an invaluable tool, designed to inform the development of new policies and to help workplaces deal more effectively with OSH. A full range of publications and a brand new data visualisation tool on the survey’s results will be available from 2020.

See more about the first findings of ESENER-3

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