Thursday, July 2, 2015

EU-OSHA Survey Says Risk Assessment is Key in OSH

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) has released the findings of its second “European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks,” which looks into how OSH risks are managed in European workplaces. The study suggests psychosocial and musculoskeletal risk factors are widespread--and risk assessment is considered the best way to mitigate them.

The most common reported risk factor is dealing with difficult customers, patients and students, which EU-OSHA says reflects the continued growth of the service sector.

"Among those establishments that do not carry out regular risk assessments, the main reasons given for this are that risks and hazards are already known and that there are no major problems," says Christa Sedlatschek, EU-OSHA director. “Psychosocial risks are perceived as more challenging than others. Almost 1 in 5 of the establishments that report having to deal with difficult customers or experiencing time pressure also indicate that they lack information or adequate tools to deal with the risk effectively."

The study indicates that 76% of establishments in Europe carry out regular risk assessments, and 90% consider them useful in managing OSH issues. Factors leading to musculoskeletal disorders—tiring or painful positions and repetitive hand or arm movements, for example—are frequently reported across all sectors.