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 2007-2012167part ong>ofong> technological development demonstrated by ong>theong> work in nanotechnology,shows ong>theong> way forwards.It is important, however, to ensure, that current societal trends towards riskaversiondo not result in an adverse technological development environment withinong>theong> EU and that controls and safeguards are seen to be proportionate raong>theong>r thandetrimental to innovation. Ongoing initiatives in ong>theong> field ong>ofong> nanotechnologyprovide a valuable ‘enabling safety model’ for technological development, inmaintaining a watching brief onong>theong> healthandsafety implications ong>ofong> new andemerging risks, without unnecessarily stifling ong>theong> development ong>ofong> those newtechnologies.It is noted that many ong>ofong> ong>theong> issues raised in this section are reflected in ong>theong>European Research Challenges for occupational safetyandhealth, recentlypublished by PEROSH, including rehabilitation, workplace wellbeing andong>theong>multifactorial nature ong>ofong> MSDs 197 .6.3 Policy developmentsThe EU is currently in a defining phase. The upcoming programming period from2014 onwards is an important landmark in relation to policy developments in ong>theong>EU. In addition to being heavily involved in budget negotiations, which willdetermine ong>theong> distributionong>ofong> ong>theong> EU budget across ong>theong> different policy areas andprogrammes, ong>theong> Commission has been presenting several proposals to reformmajor policy frameworks, such as ong>theong> Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), ong>theong>Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) andong>theong> Cohesion Policy (CP). It is against thisthriving overarching setting thatong>theong> future ong>ofong> European occupational healthandsafety policies will be defined. This section looks in more details atong>theong> futuredevelopment ong>ofong> EU policies that are most relevant to OSH and that should be takeninto account in ong>theong> development ong>ofong> future workers’ healthandsafety policies atong>theong>European level.Europe 2020 andong>theong> economic crisisThe adoptionong>ofong> ong>theong> “Europe 2020” Strategy has set ong>theong> direction towards whichEU’s current and upcoming socio-economic policies should move, including healthandsafetyatwork. The objective ong>ofong> reaching 75% employment rate by 2020 veryclearly reinforces ong>theong> need for a better protectionong>ofong> workers’ healthandsafety.More effective and inclusive protectionong>ofong> ong>theong> healthandong>theong> safetyong>ofong> workersensures, inter alia, that:› Workers stay longer atworkandong>theong> number ong>ofong> costly early retirementschemes decrease;197 Sustainable workplaces ong>ofong> ong>theong> future – European Research Challenges foroccupational safetyandhealth. Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safetyand Health (PEROSH), 2012http://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
168 EVALUATION OF THE EUREVALUATION OF THE EUROPEAN STRATEGY ON SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK 2007-2012168› Workers that have been affected by an accident or a long-term disease canreturn to work after a long absence;› The most vulnerable categories ong>ofong> workers (low-skilled, temporary, migrants,ageing, etc.) are less affected by occupational accidents and diseases;› Workers, and in particular women, have fewer difficulties combining ong>theong>irpersonal and prong>ofong>essional life and involuntary part-time work is limited;› Workers are happier and more productive.Important aspects ong>ofong> Europe 2020 are ong>theong> increase in ong>theong> flexibility ong>ofong> labourmarkets andong>theong> support to job creation through targeted reductions ong>ofong> non-wagelabour costs, use ong>ofong> in-work benefits, flexible contractual arrangement andong>theong>promotionong>ofong> lifelong learning. 198 While some ong>ofong> ong>theong>se issues are in line with betterOSH protection, in particular ong>theong> promotionong>ofong> up-skilling, oong>theong>rs, such as flexiblecontractual arrangements andong>theong> increasing recourse to temporary contracts, canhave negative impacts onong>theong> healthandsafetyong>ofong> workers. 199Administrative Burdens and Smart RegulationIn this particularly difficult economic context, which will keep framing policydevelopments ong>ofong> ong>theong> coming years, one issue has emerged that has importantconsequences for occupational healthandsafety. The reductionong>ofong> administrativeburdens, in line with ong>theong> objective ong>ofong> “smart” growth, has been highlighted in manypolicy documents as a priority to support job creationand economic growth. Inparticular, ong>theong> 2007 Action Programme for reducing administrative burdens in ong>theong>EU has set an objective ong>ofong> a 25% reduction in administrative burdens on companiesfrom existing regulation by 2012. 200At ong>theong> same time, as has already been mentioned in this report, a High Level Groupong>ofong> independent stakeholders on administrative burdens, was constituted. This maderecommendations for reductions ong>ofong> administrative burdens in ong>theong> area ong>ofong> “workingenvironment/employment relations”. In particular, referring to Article 9(1)(a) ong>ofong>ong>theong> Framework Directive, which lays out ong>theong> obligationong>ofong> employers to “be inpossessionong>ofong> an assessment ong>ofong> ong>theong> risks to safetyandhealthatwork, includingthose facing groups ong>ofong> workers exposed to particular risks”, Recommendation 58 ong>ofong>ong>theong> HLG states that ”a redrafted / clarified Article 9 should give ong>theong> Member Statesong>theong> flexibility to provide for exemptions, in ong>theong> light ong>ofong> ong>theong> nature ong>ofong> ong>theong> activities198 Council ong>ofong> ong>theong> European Union, EPSCO, Joint Employment Report, 8 March 2011.199 Milieu Ltd & OIM, Occupational Health and Safety Risks for ong>theong> most VulnerableWorkers, Study for ong>theong> European Parliament, IP/A/EMPL/ST/2010-03, August 2011, pp92-99.200 European Commission, Action Programme for Reducing Administrative Burdens in ong>theong>European Union, COM(2007) 23 final, Brussels, 24.1.2007http://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