Good OSH is good for business

Supporting compliance with OSH regulations: ongoing research

Adhering to occupational safety and health (OSH) standards is fundamental to worker protection. A new web section outlines research being carried out by EU-OSHA (2021 – 2024) to analyse the factors affecting compliance and how it can be improved, particularly among micro and small enterprises.

EU-OSHA's virtual poster awarded at the XXII OSH World Congress

We are pleased to announce that EU-OSHA's virtual poster "A Workers' Survey on Exposure to Cancer Risk Factors in Europe" won the OSH World Congress President Award under the topic Innovations in Addressing Longstanding Health and Safety Challenges.

This year's Congress featured a virtual Poster Exhibition with more than 400 posters relating to the topics addressed by the Congress Symposia, 5 of them prepared by EU-OSHA's experts.

If you attended the Congress, you can access the digital platform, view on-demand videos of all sessions or check out any posters you missed. And if you couldn't attend, you can still see and download EU-OSHA's virtual posters, including the awarded one, by visiting our Slideshare account:

A Workers’ Survey on Exposure to Cancer Risk Factors in Europe: An Innovative Approach to get Comparable and Reliable Data for Prevention and Policy-making Purposes by Xabier Irastorza, Marine Cavet and William Cockburn

New Developments and Trends in Psychosocial Risk Management in Europe – Evidence from the ESENER-3 Survey by Xabier Irastorza and Malgorzata Milczarek

How are Workplaces Managing OSH on a Daily Basis? by Xabier Irastorza

Value of OSH by Dietmar Elsler

OSH Barometer by Lothar Lieck





Improving compliance with OSH regulations

Improving OSH compliance in MSEs

Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) find complying with OSH regulations particularly challenging. However, previous EU-OSHA research finds that certain external factors have a strong influence on OSH compliance in MSEs:

  • legal enforcement of regulations
  • supply chain influences
  • external OSH services
  • social or sectoral norms
  • financial support.

This activity aims to follow up on these findings, by reviewing the types of support available and exploring innovative strategies for supporting compliance. Although MSEs are a particular focus, the important role played by larger companies in creating an environment that promotes compliance is also considered.

Phases of the research programme

Following an initial overarching review of OSH compliance, two major strands of research were identified for further in-depth studies:

  • The first relates to market-based approaches to promoting OSH, and looks at policies and strategies that influence supply chain relations to improve compliance with OSH regulations, focusing particularly on the agri-food and construction sectors.
  • The second strand focuses on state influences, that is, regulatory and enforcement approaches to ensuring OSH compliance, to identify innovative practices adopted by inspectorates and prevention services to support OSH.

The impact of COVID-19 on OSH compliance

The overarching review also identifies the need to examine how the challenges posed by COVID-19 affect OSH compliance. This becomes most obvious in the agri-food and construction sectors, as workers in these sectors are among those most affected by the pandemic and supply chain disruptions. The research aims to inform the development of policies that improve working conditions by helping businesses to comply with OSH regulations. 

Film screenings highlight the issue of working conditions for temporary and migrant workers


Two Heathy Workplaces Film Award screenings are being organised in Austria and Romania in September, both of which focus on key occupational safety and health (OSH) issues for seasonal, temporary and migrant workers. These groups are considered as vulnerable workers as they are often subjected to a higher level of workplace risk than other demographics.

The Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour is organising a screening of the film Rules of Assembly Line, At High Speed on 14 September at the Village Cinema Wien Mitte. The film focuses on a slaughterhouse in Germany, where a number of migrant workers are employed. It highlights the parallel experiences of the workers, who are subjected to poor working conditions, and a group of German activists who are standing up for the workers’ OSH rights. The screening is followed by a discussion on the lessons of the film. For more information, please contact Martina Häckel-Bucher.

The second event, organised by the Institutul Naţional de Cercetare - Dezvoltare pentru Protecţia Muncii ''Alexandru Darabont'' in Romania, is an online screening of the film Marina on 17 September. The film follows a 42-year-old Romanian migrant working in the German healthcare sector and highlights the demanding working conditions faced by many migrant workers as they adapt to unfamiliar cultures.The screening is followed by a debate on the main issues raised by the film, including an overview of the campaign Right for All Seasons of the European Labour Authority. For more information, please contact Ioana-Georgiana Nicolescu.