Management commitment and staff involvement promote effective OSH. Psychosocial risks are still not being properly addressed.

SW – 02/2018

This is the finding of a study commissioned by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). Good OSH management is supported by the willingness and ability of employers to develop a participatory approach in which arrangements for worker participation and commitment play an important role. 


The study found that further efforts are needed to manage psychosocial risks, even though good practices have been introduced in some companies with respect to new and emerging risks. There are strong indications that there is a need for further improvements, including better coordination between efforts to manage new risks and those aimed at more traditional OSH issues. However, participatory management can be extended to effectively tackle emerging risks while also addressing existing risks. 


The study used data from the Second European Survey of Enterprises on New and Emerging Risks (ESENER-2). The survey collected information from nearly 50,000 companies regarding occupational safety and health management and OSH risks, with the aim of providing nationally comparable data to assist in policy-making. The focus of the survey was on psychosocial risks, worker participation, and the driving forces and obstacles to implementing measures. 

The authors of the study noted that the data collected in ESENER-2 does not effectively measure all elements of change in the structure of the EU economy which influence good practice. Most of the data collected in ESENER-2 comes from respondents in relatively stable and successful companies. However, the analysis of this data does not provide information on health and safety conditions in areas of the economy that are less stable. Given the growth of these areas, future surveys should take these into account in order to provide a more complete picture.