Key Considerations for Managing and Implementing Effective OSH Monitoring Systems

Why OSH Monitoring Systems are key for workplace risk management

OSH Monitoring Systems can help companies to better manage their risk environment

In 2020, nearly 3,000 accidents per 100,000 workers suffered a non-fatal accident in the EU construction industry, a higher incidence than both the Transportation and Manufacturing sectors. Further, in 2020, more than a fifth of all fatal workplace accidents in the EU occurred within the construction sector.

And according to a recent report by The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the risks faced by workers in the construction and other “high-OSH-risk” sectors extend far beyond injuries: “ workplace risks can have negative and often irreversible implications for workers and, more broadly, for the economy.” Another report by EU OSHA found that “the burden of work injuries and diseases is 3.9% of global GDP and 3.3% of European GDP.”

It’s clear from these staggering statistics that an improved or evolved approach to risk management is required. Specifically, OSH monitoring systems can help companies to better manage their risk environment, and ensure better safety for workers.

What is an OSH Monitoring System?

An OSH monitoring system is one that uses “digital technology to collect and analyse data to identify and assess risks, prevent and/or minimise harm, and promote OSH *” . The report goes on to state that “often, these are sensor-based systems that can monitor risks at the workplace.”

According to EU OSHA, there are five (5) primary types of health risk that exist in the workplace:

1. Ergonomic: risks from repetitive movements or extreme postures**

2. Physical: risks from exposure to extreme temperatures, noise, vibrations, radiation, and lighting

3. Safety: risks from traffic, or work equipment-related risks

4. Psychosocial: risks from work-related stress, fatigue, and anxiety

5. Chemical: risks from exposure to inflammables, toxics, and emissions

It’s common for workers - especially those in “high-OSH-risk” sectors such as construction or manufacturing - to be exposed to risks from multiple sources on a regular basis. In order to effectively support teams as they adopt and implement new or improved risk management policies and technologies, it’s crucial to offer monitoring systems that are easy to use, and well-supported.

Keys to Successful Adoption of OSH Monitoring Systems

To effectively deploy an OSH monitoring system in the workplace, teams must first consider three key areas:

1. Systems must be easy to use and understand

This is a critical threshold point: if a system is overly complex, if it slows teams down, or if its value isn’t immediately apparent, it’s unlikely to be adopted in the long term.

Monitoring systems must seamlessly integrate with existing ways of working in order to be effective. Said otherwise, systems should complement - not compete with - current working systems, processes, or patterns, and it’s critical that these systems improve safety without interrupting workers or slowing things down.

Moreover, systems’ speed to value should be as fast as possible: teams should be able to use the monitoring system - and, ideally, the insights generated by the system - to immediately begin improving the safety of their working environment, without delay.

2. Teams must have access to adequate training and resources to support rollout

EU OSHA identifies several gaps in workplace resources * that must be addressed in order for teams to effectively adopt and implement an OSH monitoring system. These include: lack of knowledge sharing between organisations about their risk environments and risk management programmes; the inadequacy of policies, processes, or programmes to support more vulnerable workers, such as those with disabilities; inaccessible workplace resources to support learning and training for new systems; and lack of information regarding basic issues related to the implementation of a digital monitoring system, such as how workers’ data is used, or why a certain system was chosen.

The above issues can be reduced to one key component: communication. By increasing transparency and providing key information to teams, organisations can expect increased engagement and acceptance of newly adopted programmes, processes, and technologies.

3. Teams must be willing to adopt and promote a safety-focussed culture

Safety cannot become a secondary consideration on a worksite. Sacrificing safety for speed or productivity will inevitably result in the exact opposite: the reality is that workplaces which prioritise safety benefit from improved performance and profitability.

When inadequate risk management programmes are in place (or where they don’t exist), teams and projects can suffer delays due to injuries or illness at work. Further, without adequate monitoring systems, teams lack the key insights into their working environment and worker behaviour that would enable them to identify efficiencies, unlock opportunities, and streamline operations.

When inadequate risk management programmes are in place (or where they don’t exist), teams and projects can suffer delays due to injuries or illness at work. Further, without adequate monitoring systems, teams lack the key insights into their working environment and worker behaviour that would enable them to identify efficiencies, unlock opportunities, and streamline operations.

Implementing an OSH Monitoring System: Choosing the Right Partner

Working with a trusted partner to implement the right system for your organisation is key to successful adoption and, ultimately, improved workplace safety and more efficient operations

For over two decades, Reactec  has pioneered workplace wearable technology purpose-built to help teams lower their workers’ risk of exposure to potentially dangerous sources, while also driving improved performance. EU OSHA * specifically refers to Reactec as a provider of valuable resources for risk management, including - in particular - for Hand-Arm-Vibration management in the workplace.

Reactec is a partner for teams looking to take control of their risk environment and implement a monitoring system that’s simultaneously comprehensive and approachable, robust and easy-to-use.

Reactec’s R-Link is an advanced, third generation workplace wearable that provides real-time alerts to notify workers of unsafe exposure levels to a number of known workplace threats, including vibration, noise, dust, and proximity to hazards. It’s an innovative, reliable solution for teams ready to take a more proactive approach to risk management in the workplace. 

R-Link is powered by Reactec’s powerful Analytics, a Cloud-based system that reliably, accurately collects and collates personalised data about individual workers’ levels of exposure before transforming it into clear, actionable insight that teams can use to adjust behaviours or refine controls. And this process happens with no heavy lifting required: information is retrieved automatically from teams’ workplace wearables before Analytics is performed on it behind the scenes. No fancy commands, coding, or computer work is required.

In addition to the comprehensive support offered by Reactec Analytics, Reactec provides ongoing support to customers with post-sale online training, site visits, and data review. Plus, Reactec’s solutions are always custom-built to meet teams’ specific and unique needs: system packages are bespoke, and designed with your team in mind.

This holistic, team-centric approach - from adoption through to implementation and beyond - means that teams will benefit from an OSH monitoring system that’s designed to help fill the gaps in workplace resources identified by EU OSHA, further supporting successful adoption and implementation.


* EU-OSHA – European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, Types, purposes, and uses of digital OSH monitoring systems: An assessment of risks, challenges and opportunities, 2022.

** To learn more about an ergonomic approach to risk management with regards to HAV, explore this page:

Get in touch

To learn more about how Reactec can help deploy an effective OSH monitoring system within your organisation, just reach out to a member of the team

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