Unknown content type tagged with "Accident prevention + Emerging risks"
A new study by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has reviewed the risks to workers when opening fumigated shipping containers. The study identifies significant gaps in preventive measures and makes recommendations that should be implemented to improve the safety and health of workers.
A new report from EU-OSHA highlights the safety and health risks to workers in ports who come into contact with fumigated shipping containers. A key recommendation is to prioritise risk assessments before containers are opened and to enforce legislation on labelling of containers.
The report reviews the legislation and identifies gaps in the existing knowledge in this area. It also provides practical examples and preventive strategies to improve current practice and workers’ safety and health.
The economic case for safety and health at work has never been clearer. New estimates from the project on the costs and benefits of OSH indicate that work-related injuries and illnesses cost the EU around €476 billion each year. The cost of work-related cancer alone amounts to €119.5 billion.
Alert and sentinel systems allow the detection of new or emerging work-related diseases and are useful to complement the official figures of occupational diseases. Literature about the limited number of alert and sentinel approaches in place has been reviewed by EU-OSHA to weigh up their benefits.
They can help target workplace interventions and prevention.
Two comprehensive sectoral good practice guides on occupational safety and health are now available for download in over 20 languages. Published by the European Commission, they cover agriculture, livestock farming, horticulture and forestry; and small fishing vessels (which make up 80 % of the EU’s fishing fleet). Packed with examples of good practices for risk prevention, real-life case studies and practical resources, they are excellent guides to keeping workers in these sectors safe from harm. The guides are a user-friendly reference with glossaries, illustrations and charts.
An EU-OSHA foresight project is looking at the potential impact on OSH of rapid developments in information and communication technologies (ICT), including artificial intelligence and robotics, and the resulting impact on occupational safety and health (OSH). This project aims to provide EU decision-makers, Member State governments, trade unions and employers with the information they need on changes in ICT, their impact on the nature and location of work, and the emerging challenges to OSH that they may bring.
The project comprises three work packages:
- Work Package 1 aims to identify key trends and drivers that could lead to new and emerging OSH risks associated with ICT and changes in work location.
- Based on the key trends and drivers from Work Package 1, Work Package 2 aims to develop possible and plausible scenarios for what workplaces will be like in 2025, to illustrate the future OSH challenges associated with developments in ICT and work location.
- Work Package 3 aims at promoting the findings of the project using the scenarios developed in Work Package 2 to explore with policy-makers possible strategies to address the OSH challenges identified in the scenarios.
These activities should contribute to ensuring safe and healthy workplaces in the future, in line with smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the EU.
Follow-up studies look further at important areas and challenges highlighted by the project.
One of EU-OSHA’s key objectives is the identification and provision of credible, high-quality data of these new and emerging occupational safety and health (OSH) risks that meet the needs of policy-makers and researchers and allow them to take timely and effective action.
To this end, EU-OSHA’s European Risk Observatory gathers and examines data, drawing on research and expert consultations, on trends and underlying factors having an impact on workplaces and workers’ safety and health. It produces discussion papers, reports, summaries and visualisations targeted at policy-makers, social partners, researchers and workplace intermediaries at the EU and national level to provide them with the information and tools necessary to address the identified new and emerging challenges effectively.
The ultimate aim is to raise awareness of how changes of all kinds — technological, societal, political and economic — are likely to affect the safety and health of Europe’s workers, as well to encourage timely prevention of future OSH challenges in order to ensure safe and healthy workplaces of tomorrow.
Identifying emerging risks
EU-OSHA has been running a series of foresight projects intended to evaluate the possible effects of new technologies, new ways of working and societal change on workers’ safety and health. The projects aim not only to identify new risks as they emerge, but also to anticipate changes that could have an impact on workplace safety and health.
EU-OSHA’s foresight projects draw on a variety of methods, including literature reviews, consultation with experts and scenario-building. EU-OSHA organises workshops to gather knowledge, help promote the results and stimulate debate.
This programme of work is intended to inform policy-making and help set priorities for action and research. Foresight studies can have a significant impact on policy; for example, they can help policy-makers to arrive at innovative solutions and they encourage a long-term strategic approach.
Expert discussion papers
EU-OSHA publishes expert review papers to provoke debate on the future of work and on emerging issues in workplace safety and health among OSH experts and policy-makers throughout the EU. The conclusions reached in these papers often suggest areas for further research or action.