The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has identified four key priority areas for research in the occupational safety and health field over the next six years: demographic change; globalisation and the changing world of work; safe new technologies; and new or increasing exposure to chemical and biological agents. On demographic change, the agency argues that the challenge is to enable older workers to remain active and productive for longer in order to increase the proportion of older workers in employment. Rising female employment rates also mean member states require a better understanding of the OH issues specifically affecting women. The agency says these changes make it vital to understand how to adapt workplace design and work organisation to address the make-up of the workforce of the future. Improved detection and identification methods are also needed to ensure the safe use of chemicals and biological agents associated with the development of new products and materials, particularly those associated with the growth of low-carbon economies.
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work. Priorities for occupational safety and health research in Europe: 2013-2020.