Economic incentives to improve occupational safety and health: a review from the European perspective


The European Union strategy 2007-12 on occupational safety and health (OSH) recognises that there is a need to use economic incentives to motivate enterprises to apply good practice in their prevention work. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to meeting this need by providing information on the types of economic incentives that are most likely to succeed. Research has shown that external economic incentives can motivate further investments in prevention in all organisations and thus lead to lower accident rates. The primary target audience are organisations that can provide economic incentives to improve OSH, such as insurance companies, social partners or governmental institutions. These organisations are regarded as important intermediaries to stimulate further efforts in OSH in their cooperating enterprises, e.g. as clients of insurances. Therefore a network of such organisations has been established in form of an expert group, which supports the project with advice and helps to promote the results.

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