Keeping Up Safely With Technology

Technologies have always had an undeniable impact on our lives, and
that includes the jobs and work we do. Imagine how differently the world would have
developed without the lightbulb, internal combustion engine, or computers.
Experts agree that a Fourth Industrial Revolution is taking place. This new
revolution is marked by emerging technologies in a number of fields, including
artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, nanotechnology, and 3D/4D printing.

A foresight project from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
(EU-OSHA) examined the rapid workplace developments in digital technologies,
including artificial intelligence and robotics, and the potential impact on
workplace health and safety. The project aimed to provide decision makers,
government, trade unions and employers in the European Union with the necessary
information to make informed decisions on changes in digital technologies,
their impacts on the nature and organization of work, and the emerging
challenges they may bring.

The report released late in 2018 identified several health and safety
challenges, including:

- the potential for automation to remove humans from hazardous environments,
but also to introduce new risks with new interfaces and new processes
- the growing importance of organizational factors such as pace of work, how
work is performed, and how it is managed
- increased work-related stress due to worker monitoring, 24/7 availability,
and blurred work-life boundaries
- increased ergonomic risks from working constantly with online devices, often
in non-office environments
- the growing number of workers who fall outside traditional definitions of
employees and existing health and safety laws
- Loss of worker control due to data protection issues, performance and
productivity pressures, and automated management
- More frequent job changes and longer working lives means ongoing training and
education is necessary.

Further Information

AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety