Psychosocial risks and stress

EU Have Your Say: A comprehensive approach to mental health

The Commission has published a call for evidence on the forthcoming Commission Communication on a comprehensive approach to mental health.

The initiative, announced by President Ursula von der Leyen in the 2022 State of the Union address, as a follow up to the Conference on the Future of Europe, invites citizens, stakeholders and other interested parties to provide their input.

The Communication will promote a comprehensive, prevention-oriented approach to mental health and address the many policies and socioeconomic and environmental determinants that affect mental health.

We strongly encourage the OSH community and interesting stakeholders to contribute to this consultation, open until 15 February 2023.

EU-OSHA is providing input to further tackle psychosocial risks at work, focusing on the outcomes of discussions with Member States and social partners.

MSDs and psychosocial risk factors. Executive summary and discussion papers language versions available

There is clear evidence that psychosocial risk factors play a causal role in the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in the workplace. The executive summary - Musculoskeletal disorders: association with psychosocial risk factors at work - now available in more language versions, examines the evidence for the association between psychosocial risk factors and MSDs and provides recommendations for effective approaches to prevent MSDs.

Once MSDs have developed, the return-to-work process should be supported by a multidisciplinary approach involving various professionals and experts.

According to the discussion paper, Return to work after MSD-related sick leave in the context of psychosocial risks at work, the important factors for a successful return to work include a holistic risk assessment of physical and psychosocial risks, a planned return-to-work programme, involving the worker in the process, and a positive and supportive working environment.

Learn also about the effect of digitalisation on psychosocial and physical risk factors for work-related musculoskeletal disorders.

How does workplace digital technology affect management, jobs and OSH?

Data collected by digital devices at the workplace can be used to make increase performance and make workplaces more productive and safe. But similarly, employers might use this data to invade privacy or make unfair decisions affecting their workers.

This joint report by EU-OSHA, JRC and Eurofound shows how workplace digitalisation facilitates the emergence of data-driven management, and how this, in turn, may affect work organisation and aspects of job quality, such as occupational safety and health (OSH).

Estimates drawn from the 2019 ESENER survey suggest that the presence of technologies for data-driven management, such as wearables or others devices for worker monitoring is associated with a higher prevalence of psychosocial risks in the workplace. OSH measures to manage these risks, for example an action plan to prevent work-related stress, are also described in the report.

Read the report ‘How digital technology is reshaping the art of management’

Find more information in our thematic section on digitalisation of work and Psychosocial risks and stress at work