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evaluation of the european strategy on safety and health at work ...

evaluation of the european strategy on safety and health at work ...

EVALUATION OF THE

EVALUATION OF THE EUROPEAN STRATEGY ON SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK 2007-2012135incidence ong>ofong> occupational accidents (ong>theong> goal ong>ofong> ong>theong> European ong>strategyong>) will beachieved. They consider that ong>theong> ong>strategyong> has had an effect, but not to ong>theong> levelwhere this goal will be achieved and this is one reason why ong>theong> scores oneffectiveness and OSH impact are ong>ofong> 3 or 4 and not at ong>theong> highest level.EU actors in general felt that ong>theong>y did not have enough information to assesswheong>theong>r ong>theong> ong>strategyong> has helped to improve OSH conditions in Europe. However, afew commented that, although to date ong>theong>re is a lack ong>ofong> updated statistical data, ong>theong>ong>strategyong> probably has contributed to a reduction in occupational accidents.On ong>theong> basis ong>ofong> findings presented above, it is assessed that ong>theong> European ong>strategyong>did have a positive effect ong>ofong> incidence rates ong>ofong> work-related accidents and diseases.However, it is not possible to determine ong>theong> magnitude ong>ofong> this impact. Asillustrated in section 4.1, it also important to note that, even though an impact wasachieved, this does not mean that ong>theong> problems related to occupational health andsafety in ong>theong> EU have been addressed. The data available does indicate thatoccupational accidents and diseases still pose significant challenges in terms ong>ofong> ong>theong>number ong>ofong> worker affected and, as shown below, ong>theong> economic implications.Studies indicatepositive impacts ong>ofong>OSH policySick leave and lostproductionAccidents at workand work-relatedhealth problems5.3.2 Economic impactsA number ong>ofong> studies point to ong>theong> benefits ong>ofong> OSH policy and indicate that OSHpolicy, in many different countries and settings has important positive impacts, interms ong>ofong> improved economic performance, as well as a positive impact on ong>theong>general health status ong>ofong> ong>theong> population. It is not within ong>theong> scope ong>ofong> this ong>evaluationong>to make such cost-benefit assessments in regard to ong>theong> European ong>strategyong>.However, this section summarises some ong>ofong> ong>theong> studies dealing with ong>theong> costs andbenefits ong>ofong> OSH regulation, OSH policy and OSH measures in order to assess if ong>theong>European ong>strategyong> on safety and health at work has had a wider societal impact.Costs ong>ofong> accidents at work and work-related health problemsHealth and safety at work is not only essential for workers' well-being but is alsovery important economically to companies and society. 145 Most obvious in ong>theong>sense that accidents at work and work-related health problems ong>ofong>ten result in sickleave and thus in lost production. Some figures from recent studies illustrate ong>theong>magnitude ong>ofong> ong>theong> costs.According to ong>theong> Labour Force Survey 2007, in ong>theong> one-year period before ong>theong>survey 146,147 :145 OHS in figures: stress at work – facts and figures, European Risk Observatory Report,European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2009.146 European Commission: The social situation in ong>theong> European Union 2009, Luxembourg:Publications Office ong>ofong> ong>theong> European Union, 2010.http://projects.cowiportal.com/ps/A019055/Documents/3 Project documents/Interim and final report/Final report October 2012/OSH ong>evaluationong>-report_Final_submitted 14 March2013.docx

136 EVALUATION OF THE EUREVALUATION OF THE EUROPEAN STRATEGY ON SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK 2007-2012136››››3.2 percent ong>ofong> workers in ong>theong> EU-27 had one or more accident at workcorresponding to 6.9 million persons;0.7 percent ong>ofong> all workers in ong>theong> EU-27 took sick leave for at least one monthdue to an accident at work;8.6 percent ong>ofong> workers in ong>theong> EU-27 – corresponding to 20 million persons –experienced a work-related health problem in ong>theong> past 12 months;1.9 percent ong>ofong> all workers in ong>theong> EU-27 were ong>ofong>f work for at least one monthin ong>theong> past 12 months due to ong>theong>ir most serious work-related health problem.In 2005, more than 141 million days were lost due to accidents at work 148 in ong>theong>EU-15. This figure corresponds to an average ong>ofong> 35 days ong>ofong> absence per accident,although 45.6 percent ong>ofong> ong>theong> accidents entailed less than 14 days ong>ofong> absence. 149MSDsWork-related MSDs are ong>theong> most common threats posed by ong>theong> workingenvironment in EU (see also section 4.1).Work-related MSDs have a huge impact on work-related absence and a highproportion ong>ofong> ong>theong> days lost due to sickness absence in ong>theong> Member States are due towork-related MSDs. The true extent ong>ofong> ong>theong> associated costs within ong>theong> workplaceacross ong>theong> Member States is difficult to assess due to – among oong>theong>r factors – ong>theong>different organisation ong>ofong> insurance systems, ong>theong> absence ong>ofong> standardised assessmentcriteria and ong>theong> unknown validity ong>ofong> reported data. However, studies haveestimated ong>theong> cost ong>ofong> work-related upper-limb MSDs at between 0.5 percent and 2percent ong>ofong> Gross National Product (GNP). 150Stress at workStress at work is ong>theong> second most common threat – after musculoskeletal problems– posed by ong>theong> working environment in ong>theong> EU and ong>theong>re are indications that, insome Member States, it is overtaking MSDs in this respect. In 2005, 22 percent ong>ofong>workers in ong>theong> EU reported experiencing stress at work. Studies suggest thatbetween 50 percent and 60 percent ong>ofong> all lost working days have some link withwork-related stress. The costs in terms ong>ofong> human distress and impaired economic147 8.6% ong>ofong> workers in ong>theong> EU experienced work-related health problems. Results from ong>theong>Labour Force Survey 2007 ad hoc module on accidents at work and work-related healthproblems, Statistics in focus – 63/2009, Eurostat.148 Only accidents at work resulting in three or more calendar days ong>ofong> absence are taken intoaccount.149 European Commission: Causes and circumstances ong>ofong> accidents at work in ong>theong> EU,Luxembourg: Publications Office ong>ofong> ong>theong> European Union, 2009.150 OHS in figures: Work-related musculoskeletal disorders – facts and figures, EuropeanRisk Observatory Report, European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, 2010.http://projects.cowiportal.com/ps/A019055/Documents/3 Project documents/Interim and final report/Final report October 2012/OSH ong>evaluationong>report_Final_submitted14 March 2013.docx

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