On 22 December 2022, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) released a new risk assessment solution for companies not yet covered by any of the existing sectoral tools.

Occupational safety and health (OSH) management is essential not only to ensure the safety and health of workers but also to reduce costs and other negative consequences of work-related accidents and sickness absence. Risk assessment is the cornerstone of OSH management as it helps employers to identify the risks and take appropriate measures. Every employer has the legal obligation to carry out a risk assessment. However, micro and small organisations often do not have the necessary resources internally to come up with plans for improving working conditions. In this context, EU-OSHA have been developing ready-to-use tools and resources to help businesses put prevention into practice.

The generic tool is intended to help any business build a robust preventive action plan to maintain a safe and healthy working environment for its employees. Users are guided along risk statements to identify the risks and are encouraged to take actions by proposing control measures. It is not industry-specific and can be used by any business, regardless of its sector. The comprehensive list of topics include exposure to hazardous agents, psychosocial risks, teleworking, musculoskeletal disorders, working at height or driving for work. The tool underlines the importance of getting the workers involved, for instance by conducting focus-group with workers and going through the respective parts in the risk assessment with them.

The tool is part of the Online Interactive Risk Assessment (Oira) software. The OiRA software developed by EU-OSHA in 2009, and in use since 2010, is based on a Dutch risk assessment tool known as RI&E, which has proved to be very successful and well used. It provides the resources and know-how required to enable micro and small organisations to assess their risks themselves. All OiRA tools have been created by or with the involvement of social partners and/or national authorities. With over 261 300 risk assessments carried out and 157 800 registered users, OiRA tools have grown into a preferred, user-driven online platform for assessing and managing work-related risks by European micro and small enterprises.

Alongside the newly released Oira generic tool, EU-OSHA has added new indicators and functionalities in the OSH Barometer tool – an EU-wide public information system aiming to provide up-to-date data about the status of OSH in the European Union. New indicators show the latest international estimates of the impact of work on major groups of diseases in EU-27, as well as information on regulation and international organisations and programmes dealing with OSH. National data can now be compared to 1 or 2 other countries as well as to previous years, and users can generate graphics and reports per country.