The professional specialization in occupational safety and health in the coming years

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This week, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) published a study identifying the “potential topics for EU-OSHA’s next large-scale foresight study” [1].

In practice, the study gathers the emerging trends and areas of future concern in OSH during the coming years, supported on analysing literature, interviewing experts and conducting surveys.

The risks listed in the study must be considered as a complement to the emerging risks that already are treated in specific actions and programs:

Now, in addition to these emerging risks, the current EU-OSHA´s study finds a series of topics that must be studied. Are these:

  • Impact of financial crisis on the nature of work and OSH, and OSH management during
    and after recovery;
  • Information and communication technology impact on work and OSH;
  • Impact of globalisation on work and OSH;
  • Impact of changing location of work on OSH;
  • Trends in Human Resources Management practices affecting worker well-being and OSH;
  • Service sector growth.

Many of these topics are interrelated, and also linked to the emerging risks, but the level of specialization that all they are reaching, makes that these aspects need to be analysed as separate fields.

From the point of view of the organizations, the emphasis of studies -like this EU-OSHA´s document- in these aspects, gives a hint about the worthwhile path of the actions, training programs, research and development, etcetera, within each organization.

From the point of view of the OSH partitioners, we have before us the fields for professional specialization in the coming years, despite they do not appear in any regulation.

[1] EUROPEAN AGENCY FOR SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK. 16 sept 2014. Scoping ahead for new OSH risks and challenge Consulted 19 sept 2014. 
ANNETTE COX, LUKE FLETCHER, Institute for Employment Studies; MARTIN RHISIART, University of South Wales. 2014. European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Consultado 18 sept 2014.


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