Community news|28/02/24

OSH measures key to prevent violence and harassment at work

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > OSH measures key to prevent violence and harassment at work

More than one in five workers in the 25 countries surveyed have experienced violence and harassment at work, according to a new report by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These problems can affect all workplaces and occur during commuting, travel, events, digital communication and even teleworking. Creating an environment free of these problems requires “a cooperative approach and social dialogue within companies on occupational health and safety (OHS)”.

In the Americas, Europe and Central Asia, legislation is mainly integrated into OHS laws. In the Asia-Pacific region and the Arab countries, specific legal frameworks aim to combat sexual harassment. Some countries, such as Denmark, have specific legislation, while Spain covers these issues in general legislation, but explicitly recognises them and provides advice on how to deal with them.

The report emphasises the importance of tackling the problems at source, by targeting inadequate work organisation, specific tasks that create risks (e.g. working in isolation or frequent interaction with third parties) or situations that create high levels of stress leading to violence and harassment. In addition, practical tools, training and guidelines tailored to companies are needed to implement prevention policies.

The study is part of a research project funded by the European Commission and the ILO on practical guidelines and tools to prevent and combat violence and harassment at work: an occupational safety and health perspective. The adoption of ILO Convention No. 190 and Recommendation No. 206 on Violence and Harassment in 2019 marks a major step forward in the international commitment to a workplace free from violence and harassment.

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