European research on occupational safety and health: emerging risks and monitoring of work conditions

Project No. BIA 0080


completed 11/2004


The information on OS&H research activity, collected and published on the Internet by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work's Topic Centre Research - Work and Health (TC/WH), was to be updated and extended. A concept for keyword indexing of this information was also to be developed and implemented based upon the multilingual thesaurus developed during the previous year. The survey of existing systems for occupational health and safety monitoring was to be continued in a further sub-project. The study of the work situation focused upon the topics of working hours, repetitive movements, and performance of work under time pressure and with exposure to noise, and with regard to consequences for health, the work-related lost working time, musculoskeletal disorders, stress-induced health problems, hearing impairment, work-induced disorders, and occupational accidents. To the extent possible, the subjects were to be selected further according to occupation, sector, age, sex, and employment status. The third sub-project was to develop the information system further to encompass future risks at the workplace. Flanking objectives to the search for relevant publications were the conducting of surveys of experts regarding future physical and psychosocial risks, and two new surveys regarding chemical and biological risks. Special publicity measures were to be taken for new publications and Internet resources made available by the Topic Centre of relevance to OS&H, in particular on the subjects of OS&H management and corporate social responsibility (CSR).


The existing published information on OS&H research has been updated continually, new areas of interest added, and indexing improved by optimization of the metatags. The parties to the project have listed OS&H monitoring systems at national level and described them in a uniform table. The next step involved gathering of data and its analysis in accordance with the terms of reference. Research on the Internet and in scientific journals for information on future risks at the workplace was stepped up. The final surveys concerning physical and psychosocial risks were evaluated, and 250 European experts in the area of chemical and biological risks consulted. Together with the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) and PREVENT, the institute has set up a workshop for the publicizing of new information resources.


The information provided on the Internet concerning OS&H research has been permanently kept up to date. The system was made more user-friendly by keyword indexing of the content. The comparability of workplace data was described in a further sub-project, and at the same time the limits of a database defined. The results of the surveys concerning physical and psychosocial risks at the workplace are available. Exposure factors in combination (vibration and unfavourable body posture, musculoskeletal loading and psychosocial factors, ergonomic risks of multifactorial origin) and ultraviolet radiation were regarded as topical for the future among the physical risks. Among the psychosocial risks, changes on the labour market (unstable labour market, ageing working population, globalization) and in the organization of employment (contractual arrangements, work intensification, outsourcing) were particularly significant. The questionnaire concerning chemical and biological risks was sent to 250 European experts. On 8 November 2004, a workshop was held for experts on the subjects of OS&H management and corporate social responsibility at which the agency's information resources were publicized and the subjects described in greater detail.

Further informations:

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Financed by:
  • Hauptverband der gewerblichen Berufsgenossenschaften (HVBG)
  • Europäische Agentur für Sicherheit und Gesundheit am Arbeitsplatz
Research institution(s):
  • INRS (Frankreich)
  • AMI (Dänemark)
  • BAuA und BIA (Deutschland)
  • FIOH (Finnland)
  • HSL (Vereinigtes Königreich)
  • INSHT (Spanien)
  • ISPESL (Italien)
  • PREVENT (Belgien)
  • TNO-Arbeid (Niederlande)

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:



Informationssystem, Prävention

Description, key words:

internet, information system, research, safety and health at work, emerging risks, monitoring of workplace conditions, workshop, productivity and OS&H management, corporate social responsibility (CSR), risk assessment, risk analysis