Working in the digital future -ergonomic, wellness-

New study anticipates the safety and health risks that lie ahead_In a new report, EU-OSHA publishes the findings of a major 2-year project to anticipate the effects of digitalisation on occupational safety and health (OSH) in the EU. The final results of this foresight project highlight developments in ICT-enabled technologies, the potential impact of these technologies on the nature and organisation of work, and the challenges and opportunities to OSH that they may bring.

Increased monitoring of workers, 24/7 availability, frequent job changes and the management of work by algorithm can raise levels of workers’ stress. Increased ergonomic risks, caused by human-machine interfaces and the growth in on-line, mobile working are also identified as likely outcomes of augmented digitalisation in the workplace.
Digitalisation and the emergence of new technologies is influencing the nature of jobs and tasks, the sectors and industries that people will work in and even their perception of work. Trends indicate that, by 2025, ICT-enabled technologies will have changed the equipment, tools and systems used to organise, manage and provide products, services and knowledge. The report — Foresight of new and emerging risks to occupational safety and health associated with digitalisation by 2025 — examines the potential impacts of digitalisation: collaborative robotics, artificial intelligence, Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, bionics, virtual and augmented reality, wearable technology, big data, 3D and 4D printing, and online platforms.

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