A holistic approach on workplace risk assessment through methodological consideration of human characteristics

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Ioannis Anyfantis

Abstract

Workplace risk assessment is a valuable tool to identify hazards, reduce risk and improve working conditions. During the last few years, scientific research has identified the so-called emerging risks that include issues like psychosocial risks, gender, ageing etc. However, previous studies have identified that risk assessment, when conducted, rarely takes into consideration those emerging risks, even though they can significantly affect occupational safety and health. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the importance of including all those factors in the actual workplace risk assessment that is conducted and reviewed by enterprises of any size. The need of including “human characteristics” when conducting a risk assessment is highlighted. Workers’ participation and job crafting could adjust physical, psychological and cognitive requirements to perform the job duties, as well as boundaries. Physical differences (as body build, gender, health, capability) as well as mental differences (attitude, motivation, perception) will need to be consider carefully when establish controls for work activities. Moreover age, organizational factors and culture can strongly influence human behavior. The need for a dynamic risk assessment, continually improved while considering human characteristics is highlighted. Finally, a framework for conducting a holistic Risk Assessment is proposed identifying key issues that should be considered.

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Author Biography

Ioannis Anyfantis, School of Sciences, European University Cyprus, Cyprus