New and Emerging Risks for Workplaces


In late 2014, the EU-Occupational Safety and Health Agency bought out some statistics based on a survey they conducted using data collected from workplaces in 36 European countries. The survey focuses on health and safety in establishments when it comes to new and emerging risks, including physical and psychosocial risks – an area that is often omitted from surveys.

The Survey

Approximately 49,320 workplaces took part in the survey across Europe, with 4,250 of these being from the UK. Within the UK sample, was a sample boost funded by the Health and Safety Executive, ensuring that there was a sufficient enough sample to provide accurate results. All of the establishments involved hired at least five employees and worked in all areas of economic activity.

The survey focused on risks in the workplace and looked at the management of health and safety, indicators of performance, training and awareness, and workplace budgets for health and safety. The aim of the survey was to also explore the difficulties faced by establishments in regards to addressing health and safety with the goal to face these challenges and overcome them.


If you want to view the survey and results in full, have a look at the white paper on

The Results

Safer Workplaces

Below you can see a list of psychosocial and physical risks and the percentage of workplaces surveyed with these risks present. Unsurprisingly, lifting and moving was the most common physical risk out of all those tested for, highlighting the growing need to improve on reducing the dangers involved with manual handling. An easy way to create a safer workplace is to purchase specialist equipment such as Sack Barrows from SHS Handling.



One in three workplaces used in the study had an annual budget for health and safety, meaning that two out of three workplaces had no specific health and safety budget at all. Although one third of workplaces budgeting for health and safety is a substantial amount, it still leaves a large number of workplaces unable to provide guaranteed support for training, equipment, and incidents.

three hats

The survey also looked at the amount of establishments with over 20 employees whose top level of management regularly discussed health and safety. They found that 80% of workplaces surveyed held regular meetings involving management to discuss risks.



70% of workforces had a representative assigned to all health and safety matters, enabling one point of contact for all training, information and management. Out of these establishments, 71% stated that their representative regularly spoke about health and safety issues such as preventing slips and trips, the importance of safe manual handling, and general safety in the workplace.



84% of establishments with health and safety representatives are provided with training to help manage their duties, and 85% of team leaders are given training on how to manage health and safety.



The HSE has claimed that the results of this survey are going towards creating an approach towards decreasing both physical and psychosocial risks within the workplace. This work will be done by highlighting the issues that need to be improved upon but also by maintaining the high standard that already exists.

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