Survey Into Safety In The Workplace
Many European workers consider the health and safety practices of an employer to be an important factor in deciding where to work, according to new research.
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) surveyed 1,000 people from each EU member state, finding that 75% of respondents believe ill health can be caused by a person's work.
But 60% of those surveyed said they expected the current economic climate to negatively effect health and safety at work, with working conditions as a whole getting worse.
Jukka Takala, director of EU-OSHA, said: "The financial crisis may lead organisations to ignore or minimise the importance of workplace safety and health. And there is even a risk that companies will consider cutting back on their investment in occupational safety and health.
"The challenge to us is to convince them that there is no point in making short-term gains at the cost of long-term problems. All of our work shows that the more healthy workplaces are, the more productive they also tend to be."
However, on a more positive note, 57% of those surveyed said they have seen improvements in occupational health and safety in the past five years.
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David Urpeth from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: “It is of course a huge concern that the current economic climate could lead to cuts in health and safety leading to an increase in injuries or death following an accident at work.
“Workers health and safety is an obligation on employers not a choice.
“I would encourage employers to improve workers health and safety with the aim of reducing the appalling number of injuries and death following work accidents."