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12 January 2018

HesaMag # 16 – The future of work in the digital era

The latest issue of HesaMag, the ETUI periodical dealing with occupational safety and health, investigates the impact of new technologies on working conditions and workers’ health and safety in industrial sectors, as well as in intellectual professions.

In a comprehensive opening article, Gérard Valenduc, former Professor at the University of Namur in Belgium and Associate Researcher at the ETUI, assesses the consequences of digital technologies on workers’ health and safety, in areas where they face psychosocial risks, such as technostress, mental fatigue, burnout, musculoskeletal disorders, and other work-related injuries.

This new issue also includes various news reports covering the introduction of Google glasses for those working in DHL warehouses in the Netherlands. It also addresses the safety risks encountered by bike couriers, in Brussels, working for food delivery platforms, such as Deliveroo, and UberEats. There is also an article on the use of exoskeletons to prevent musculoskeletal disorders in the French building sector.

It is not only manual workers and services workers who have been hit by the ‘digital-wave’, intellectual professions have also been impacted. In the city of Veles, in Macedonia, the Croatian journalist Barbara Matejcic met with young skilled-workers and teachers who have found a way to earn extra income, in the local “fake news” industry.

The development of these new forms of work is threatening the very foundations of traditional employment relationships. In the face of these trends, people working in this “new economy” have begun setting up initiatives to represent their collective interests, as shown in an article co-authored by Six Silberman, an expert in new technologies who has been coordinating a project launched by IG Metall to counter the less respectful digital platforms in terms of workers’ rights.

Download these articles from the HesaMag, here (free of charge)

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