New forms of work as well as occupational health and safety will be discussed in Tallinn today within the framework of Estonia’s presidency of the European Union

In collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Labor Inspectorate is holding a SLIC (Senior Labor Inspectors Committee) thematic day and an occupational health and safety conference “New forms of work and occupational health and safety”.

During the conference in Tallinn, experts, practitioners, social partners and scientists will be discussing how European high occupational health and safety standards can be ensured and followed at a time when work content, working environment and the relevant habits have changed. The conference is held in Radisson Blu Hotel Olympia and starts at 9 AM. The live broadcast of the conference by the ERR [Estonian Public Broadcasting] is available at https://livestream.com/eu2017ee/events/7921532.

“New forms of work and more flexible working conditions contribute to the integration of work life and family time, thus improving employees’ well-being. New technologies allow hazardous jobs to be automated and workers’ contact with hazardous working environments to be minimized,” said Janar Holm, Deputy Secretary General on Labor and Employment Policy at the Ministry of Social Affairs. “In the situation where work can be done at any time and in any place, we must take new challenges in employee health maintenance into account in order to prevent excessive stress and burnout. It is exactly due to the above that ensuring occupational health and safety is essential in case of any work formats, which are becoming more and more flexible and digitalized in our changing world.”

According to the Director General of the Labor Inspectorate, Maret Maripuu, it is already today that companies need to take the options provided by technology as well as changes accompanying expectations of the new generations which are emerging on the labor market into consideration. “Technology allows work to be done at home or in places with a nice climate at the other end of the world. The young want to try various occupations and career paths; they are more open-minded and quick at giving feedback,” she said. “The creation of a favorable working environment needs to keep up with the times and changes as well. Conditions might change, but working must still be safe and must not affect the employee’s health. New work formats increase the worker’s share of responsibility for their occupational health,” Maripuu added.

The first panel will start with a presentation by Mr. Denis Pennel, Managing Director of the World Employment Confederation, who will be talking about employees’ and employers’ readiness to embrace changes. Aino-Silvia Tali from a start-up company ‘Testlio’ and Kai Realo from Circle K Eesti will be sharing their experience of new entrepreneurship models and new generations on the labor market. The second panel will feature William Cockburn of the EU-OSHA talking about new work formats and the occupational health and safety regulation. Dr. Jukka Takala, managing director of the Workplace Health and Safety Institute of Singapore, will provide an overview of research data to explain what affects employee health and safety.

Andreas Tautz, Chief Medical Officer at Deutsche Post DHL Group, will be sharing the experience of successfully implementing the occupational health and safety system. The key presentation of the third panel is that by David Walters, Professor of Work Environment & Director of Cardiff Work Environment Research Centre at Cardiff University, providing an overview of European labor inspectorates, their various models and preparedness for facing new challenges. Håkan Olsson from the Swedish Work Environment Authority will be talking about the role of the labor inspectorate in the in transformed society. Dr. Stephen Kinghorn-Perry will introduce the goal of the Great Britain’s occupational health and safety system: risk mitigation control in the changing working environment.

The conference will be opened by the Director General of the Labor Inspectorate, Maret Maripuu, Deputy Secretary General on Labor and Employment Policy at the Ministry of Social Affairs, Janar Holm, and Charlotte Grevfors Ernoult from the Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion within the European Commission.