Community news|04/08/23

High-risk sectors/occupations in Europe: the point of view of labour inspectorates

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > High-risk sectors/occupations in Europe: the point of view of labour inspectorates

Thanks to their field visits, labour inspectors have an overall view of the current occupational health and safety (OHS) landscape, which is a valuable source of information. This is shown by a joint survey by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) and the Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC), based on 2,096 responses from labour inspectors in almost all the Member States.

Traditionally, construction, manufacturing, agriculture and forestry are considered ‘high risk’. In 2018, 20.5% of all fatal accidents in the EU-27 took place in construction (Eurostat). Action to improve OHS has therefore focused on these sectors. However, the world of work is changing rapidly. New professions and forms of work are emerging. The very nature of what used to be called the ‘workplace’ is being called into question. Remote working and telecommuting are more common and threaten the work-life balance. In addition, the intensive use of new technologies could lead to a number of new and emerging risks, or exacerbate existing ones, including psychosocial risks. In addition, health-related risks (biological agents, carcinogens, etc.) and work-related illnesses are still responsible for around 200,000 deaths a year in Europe.

In this context, a good understanding of the risks associated with all sectors, professions and forms of work is necessary. Through their field visits and their ability to enforce OHS regulations, labour inspectors have a global view of the sectors at risk and the actions to be taken to promote a culture of health and safety in the workplace.

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