The agency's research, created by over 30 experts, among them the Institute for Work and Health, Germany, and Munich-Re, suggests that economic incentive schemes encouraging companies to invest in risk prevention are a cost-effective option for governments looking to cut the numbers of work-related accidents and illnesses. The guide is based on the findings of EU-OSHA's European economic incentives project to draw up a practical and user-friendly guide to help incentive providers in the EU create or optimise their own economic incentive schemes.
A special feature of the guide is that it was produced by the potential users themselves, namely the members of the EU-OSHA economic incentives expert group, in order to ensure the highest possible relevance for this target group. This expert group was established in 2007 to give advice and input to the Agency products related to economic incentives, and to help to promote the results among stakeholders. The aim is to stimulate discussions in the EU Member States about economic incentives in OSH, which are regarded as an effective tool to reduce accidents and improve working conditions.
The economic incentives project has already encouraged different EU Member States to learn from each other, and to exchange good practice in designing incentive schemes, EU-OSHA states. All in all, the project shows that economic incentives can be effective in all Member States, despite the wide differences in their social security and accident insurance systems.
The project and its results have been presented at conferences and workshops in numerous European countries, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Italy, Sweden, Slovenia and the UK. Some practical consequences have already been observed. For example, the Italian workers’ compensation authority INAIL has developed a new incentive scheme which takes into account the experiences and good practice of other countries and is therefore based on the best available international knowledge. With a budget of over €60 million, the INAIL scheme is targeting small and medium-sized enterprises in particular. Experts estimate that it could lead to benefits worth €180 million at society level.