The occupational safety and health status of the EU workforce is affected by many factors, not least its changing demographic structure, the spread of new technologies and a reduction in the importance of economic sectors that previously dominated, such as industry and mining. This is bringing about changes not only in the numbers of jobs in each sector, but also the types of jobs that are available. The age profi le of the workforce is changing. New technologies are creating new categories of employment. Globalisation means that health threats that were once distant easily spread around the world in a short period of time. If the EU is to preserve the health of its workforce and maintain its economic strength and its competitiveness, it needs to meet these challenges proactively. This Outlook off ers an overview of the present and future trends of relevance to occupational health, the main workplace risks and their prevention.