Last reviewed 5 August 2022

Digitalisation has been identified as an emerging occupational safety and health issue by the European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER).

Available here, the third such report surveyed more than 45,000 establishments of all sizes and sectors in 33 countries.

It highlights that, despite the increasing use of robots, laptops, smartphones or wearable devices, fewer than one in four workplaces (24%) are having discussions about the potential impact of such technologies on the safety and health of workers.

“This overview report provides a valuable tool for related European policy-making”, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) said. “It analyses the ESENER 2019 results and looks at the evolution since 2014 to seek understanding of the needs of workplaces and how they can best be addressed.”

The report also examines how health and safety risks are identified and managed and with a view to improving this, explores possible drivers and barriers with an in-depth look at legislation.

Areas of particular focus include psychosocial risks and worker participation.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the management of health and safety at work is also considered in some detail. The report notes that the pandemic has rapidly transformed the working environment, demanding a re-evaluation of the risks that workers face and the adoption of measures tailored to new circumstances.