Health and Safety at Work : Ep Study Highlights Role of Risk Assessment

European Social Policy, December 6, 2010 | Go to article overview

Health and Safety at Work : Ep Study Highlights Role of Risk Assessment


Mandatory written risk assessments are a key element of managing occupational safety and health (OSH). Exempting small enterprises from this obligation, as proposed by the European Commission, could be harmful to the level and quality of protection of health and safety in small firms. This is one of the findings of the European Parliament's study entitled Implementation of the directives on health and safety at work as a cost factor', which will be presented to the EP committee that requested it (Committee on Employment and Social Affairs), on 8 November.

The aim of the study is to determine whether the Commission's goal of reducing administrative burdens on business as part of its better regulation agenda could contradict or hamper compliance with the objectives of improving prevention and reduction of occupational accidents and illnesses. In parallel, it evaluates compliance with existing obligations and their relevance in a changing world of work.

The study concludes that although it is not possible to quantify the potential financial advantages of sound management of occupational health and safety, they can be significant. On the one hand, sound management reduces costs related directly to occupational illnesses and accidents, such as compensation payments, insurance premiums, production stops, and so on. …

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