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You are here: Home Publications Reports Workforce diversity and risk assessment: Ensuring everyone is covered

Workforce diversity and risk assessment: Ensuring everyone is covered

The main aim of this report is to describe why and how risk assessment can and should cover the whole workforce, and to increase awareness among those responsible for and aff ected by health and safety at work – employers, employees, safety reps and OSH practitioners – about the importance of assessing the risks of ALL workers. The report is aimed mainly at those who are responsible for carrying out risk assessments and/or are involved in the process.
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European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
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Oct 20, 2009
Estimated Download Time: 21.0 sec
 
Available in: [English]

Chapters in this Publication

Table of contents

List of figures

Foreword

Executive summary

This report highlights the need to carry out inclusive risk assessment; to take into account the diversity of the workforce when assessing and managing risks. Read more...

1. Introduction

Workers are not exposed to the same risks and certain groups of workers are exposed to increased risks (or are subject to particular requirements). This report highlights the need to carry out inclusive risk assessment: to take into account the diversity of the workforce when assessing and managing risk. Read more...

1.1 Legal background

The EU Framework Directive (89/391/EEC)5 clearly emphasises the need to carry out inclusive risk assessment: Read more...

1.2 Aim of the report

The main aim of this report is to describe why and how risk assessment can and should cover the whole workforce and to increase awareness among those responsible for and aff ected by health and safety at work – employers, employees, safety reps, OSH practitioners – about the importance of assessing the risks of ALL the workers. The report is aimed mainly at those who are responsible for carrying out risk assessments and/or are involved in the process. Read more...

1.3 Structure

This report is divided into two main parts, and presents: group of workers at increased risk; examples of good practice Read more...

2. Group of workers at increased risk

This report focuses mainly on six different groups of workers (the list is not exhaustive): migrant workers, disabled workers, young and older workers respectively, women (gender issues) and temporary workers. Most of these groups have already been covered in agency publications. This chapter presents a brief summary of the main health and safety issues faced by these groups. Those interested in a specific group are advised to check the additional information provided at the end of each section. Read more...

2.1 Migrant workers

In recent years, migration has become the main factor behind demographic growth in the EU. The Agency recently published a comprehensive literature survey on migrant workers in Europe. The survey underlines the various explanations given by the studies on the poor and/ or precarious position of migrant workers on the labour market: Read more...

2.2 Young workers

Young workers have been prioritised for attention by the Agency and it has produced many publications on this group of workers, mainly in the framework of European Week 2005. The Agency’s risk observatory has produced a report entitled Young workers – Facts and fi gures12 that looks in detail at the OSH situation of young people Read more...

2.3 Disabled workers

Disability covers both physical and mental impairments and covers all employees who might be hampered in work performance. This includes people with long-term or progressive conditions as well as people with more stable disorders. Read more...

2.4 Gender sensitive approach to OSH

Continuous eff orts are needed to improve the working conditions of both women and men. However, taking a ‘gender-neutral’ approach to risk assessment and prevention can result in risks to female workers being underestimated or even ignored altogether. Read more...

2.5 Older workers

When considering the older person’s ability to work, it should be noted that the differences within the older population are greater than those between the older and younger groups, that chronological age is not an indicator of mental or physiological ageing, and that while older people experience a gradual decline in some abilities, they have compensatory strategies that can benefit from training. Read more...

2.6 Temporary workers

In the current global environment the number of secure jobs is declining, to be replaced by a variety of more ‘flexible’ types of employment contract25 with characteristics such as temporary work, low power and control, lack of benefits and low income. Read more...

3. Examples of good practice

3.1 Introduction

This section focuses on the prevention of risks to workers. It provides descriptions of fifteen examples of measures taken by companies or initiatives at national/sector level to integrate all types of workers into risk assessment and to prevent risks at the workplace level. The description of cases includes an analysis of some background information on the company/project, the aims and objectives of the action, an explanation of what was done, the results of the action, the problems faced, the success factors and some information about the transferability of the project. Read more...

3.1.1 Matrix of cases

The matrix presents all the cases according to a number of different criteria (type of worker concerned, sector of activity, goal of the action, etc.). Read more...

3.1.2 Short description of cases

3.2 Workplace adaptation

The cases in this section show examples of adaptation of working schedules, introduction of new equipment in order to make the work easier to carry out, and ergonomic measures taken to facilitate the employment of target groups. Read more...

3.2.1 Productive ageing: shift plan reform at Polyfelt

3.2.2 Ergolab: the key to healthy and safe employment of people with disabilities

3.2.3 Reducing stress among female cleaners at a hospital

3.2.4 Promoting the integration of workers with disabilities at Ford

3.2.5 Ergonomic adaptation of offi ce and industrial workstations for disabled workers

3.2.6 Snapshot case: Integration of disabled workers in the recycling industry

3.2.7 Snapshot case: Belgian and Polish workers join forces for asbestos removal in the Brussels Finance Tower

3.3 Development of training and information

The cases in this section show examples of tailored training strategies, specific information packages and other strategies aimed at improving the health and safety of certain groups of workers, including temporary workers, migrant workers and other potentially vulnerable groups, in a variety of sectors. Read more...

3.3.1 Preventing accidents to temporary workers at a paper mill

3.3.2 Diversity plan: How to bring comprehensible instructions to the work fl oor?

3.3.3 Tailored training strategies in OSH for young people with disabilities

3.3.4 Collaboration between agencies and employers to reduce accidents among temporary workers

3.3.5 Safe System of Work Plan for construction industry

3.3.6 Working safely in a multicultural food and drink industry

3.3.7 Snapshot case: Safety measures for contract workers, distributors and temporary workers

4. Conclusions

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