There is solid scientific evidence that work environment factors have an impact on worker’s health, and the costs of this for enterprises and society are substantial. New scientific studies in this field clearly show that work environment interventions, as long as they are means-tested, knowledge-based and systematically implemented, return the investments with a positive outcome, often also resulting in more efficient production processes or higher quality in the services provided. However, new forms of work might result in novel, unforeseen work environment challenges, which might limit the positive outcome potential of new technologies and their application in working life. Such effects might be critical when the changes are rapid, as we are facing today. Thus, there is a need for knowledge on how trends supposed to mark future work life may cause new exposures detrimental to worker’s health and well-being. Pillar V will address the consequences and challenges for the future working environment in the Nordic countries.
Jan Olav Christensen, Researcher at National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI).