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Foresight of New and Emerging Risks to Occupational Safety and Health Associated with New Technologies in Green Jobs by 2020

Web Survey
Dear Participant

Thank you for your interest in this project, which is being carried out for the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work by the Health and Safety Laboratory, SAMI Consulting and Technopolis. The aim of the project is to produce a set of scenarios covering occupational safety and health (OSH) risks arising from new technologies in green jobs in 2020. These scenarios will be used to inform EU decision makers, Member State governments, trade unions and employers in order to help policy makers to take decisions to shape the future of OSH in green jobs towards safer and healthier workplaces.
A brief summary of the project is available (Project Overview).
Part of the process of developing scenarios is the identification of drivers of change that will influence health and safety in green jobs. The drivers of change are an important component in the development of scenarios.
The drivers of change presented below have been identified by the project team via a search of the literature and other sources.  You are invited to give your views on which are the most important drivers of change in the context of the project and to offer your suggestions for anything we might have missed.
Taking part in this research is entirely voluntary.  You may withdraw from the research at any time without giving a reason.  You do not have to answer any questions that you do not want to.  The information given is both confidential and anonymised and will be considered as part of a group, not an individual response.

In this Web Consultation Exercise we are looking for drivers, not just for green job creation, but also for health and safety implications of new technologies in green jobs.
 
If you have any questions or would like further information on this project please contact the HSL project leader:
Peter.Ellwood@hsl.gov.uk

or the EU-OSHA lead Emmanuelle Brun:
brun@osha.europa.eu

This survey will remain open until 30th June 2010
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
1. Following is a list of Contextual Drivers of Change we have identified that could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.

We would like you to consider the drivers grouped into the following categories:

SOCIAL
TECHNICAL
ECONOMIC
ENVIRONMENTAL
POLITICAL

2. Using the drop-down menus at the bottom of the list of drivers within each category, please select in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.  There is space for additional comments.
Social
1. Increasing population: Increasing population, worldwide as well as in Europe, is likely to increase the use of energy and natural resources. Thus population increase drives the need for ever more efforts to improve energy efficiency, sustainable development, recycling and the environmental impact of human activity.
2. Ageing population and workforce: Increasing numbers of older people in the general population and in the workforce will have an impact on energy use and the potential for health and safety issues. Older people tend to use more energy in the home, but less on transport. Older workers may be more susceptible to new technologies and substances in the workplace.
3. Baby-boomer retirement bulge 2010-2020: As many post-war baby-boomers reach retirement there may be a loss of essential skills in the workplace and a resulting threat to health and safety in work generally, including green jobs.
4. More women in the workforce:  There may be gender issues associated with new substances and new work processes in green jobs.
5. Increasing urbanisation:  Increasing urbanisation of populations may impact on energy use, use of natural resources, pollution etc., driving the need for mitigation measures such as energy efficiency, renewable energy etc.
6. Increasing single living, driven by family breakdown, lifestyle choices, increasing longevity:  Single households are likely to be less energy efficient than multiple occupancy houses, driving the need for mitigation measures such as energy efficiency, renewable energy etc.
7. Increasing levels of obesity:  Health and safety risks attributable to obesity in general will apply to green jobs and may be particularly relevant in certain jobs, for example in susceptibility to the effects of new or substitute chemicals.
8. Migration:  Shortage of the skills necessary in some green jobs means that migrant labour is being used to fill vacancies. Migrant workers can be at greater risk of accidents and work-related ill-health than local staff owing to language and cultural issues. They are also typically more often employed in more risky jobs and in more precarious conditions, benefit less from training, etc. and are therefore more at risk. Climate change might modify migration patterns (e.g. owing to scarcity of water in some regions of the world, etc.) and new populations of migrant workers with different characteristics might be found in the EU; or the migration flow might also be modified.
9. Increasing consumer and investor concerns about energy and other industry sectors’ responsibility:  Public opinion and competitiveness issues could drive Corporate Social Responsibility programmes leading to companies making efforts to operate more efficiently and sustainably. Public opinion, pressure groups, campaigns etc will influence governments.
10. Growing intolerance of risk: The general public's growing intolerance of risk, coupled with their inability to properly assess risk, may lead to a reluctance to adopt new (green) technologies. On the other hand they may favour newer renewable and sustainable technologies over older, dirtier technology. Improved risk communication might affect people’s attitudes.
11. People's reaction to climate change and the extent to which they regard human activity as responsible: If people believe that CO2 emissions play a major part in global warming, then they will be increasingly likely to support low-carbon energy sources. Climate change deniers will take a different view. Companies and government will be influenced by these views.
12. Public opinion on environmental protection generally: Public opinion on environmental protection and opposition to activities that damage the environment could drive green jobs in protection. However, shortages of essential natural resources could eventually result in conflict between our material needs and protection of the environment.
13. Generational attitudes: Social scientists define different cohorts in society - Baby Boomers and Generations X, Y and Z. Each group has different attitudes to and approaches to communication (‘digital migrants’ compared to ‘digital natives’), learning, engagement with politics etc. The younger groups may be more questioning and challenging. They will have different attitudes to environmental issues.
14. Increasing demand for organic food: Increasing demand for organic food is likely to generate more jobs in the production of organic food.
15. Increasing demand for low-carbon and environmentally friendly products and services: Increasing demand for such items and services will drive increases in jobs involved in their production and delivery.
  Please using the drop-down menus decide in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.
   
   
   
 
Technological
16. Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS):  Successful testing and development of this technology will result in increasing numbers of jobs in this sector, although numbers by 2020 may not be great. Although this qualifies as green in that it reduces carbon emissions to the atmosphere, it could be argued that it is not a long-term sustainable solution.
17. Clean Coal Technologies: Successful testing and development of this technology will result in increasing numbers of jobs in this sector, although numbers by 2020 may not be great. Although this qualifies as green in that it reduces pollutant emissions to the atmosphere, it could be argued that it is not a long-term sustainable solution.
18. Renewable Energy Technologies:  Developments in renewable energy technologies and/or expansion in these areas would create jobs. The technologies include: wind, wave, solar PV, solar heating, geothermal energy, air exchange method, small-scale hydroelectricity, biofuels, biomass.
19. Other emerging energy technologies:  Developments and expansion in novel energy solutions will lead to jobs in those areas. For example, combined heat and power, microgeneration, hydrogen, energy storage technologies, including batteries.
19. Development of energy efficient transport:  Increasing development and production of greener transport technologies, for example electric, hybrid and hydrogen (fuel cell or internal combustion) vehicles.
20. Nuclear energy: The extent to which nuclear energy contributes to future energy supplies will affect the demand for energy from other sources, including green energy sources.
21. Smart Grid Technologies: Development of smart grid technology, resulting in more efficient use of power, would lead to green jobs. Development of a smart grid will require corresponding development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) (see below) to control the grid.
22. Development of energy efficient transport: Increasing development and production of greener transport technologies, for example electric, hybrid and hydrogen (fuel cell or internal combustion) vehicles.
23. Coastal defences, Reinforcing buildings, Water management, Harvesting, Adaptation in agriculture - agroforestry:  Efforts to make the most efficient use of land could lead to increased food production and green jobs.
24. Geoengineering: Developments in technologies such as ambient air CCS and ocean seeding, designed to remove carbon from the wider atmosphere as opposed to capture at source, or management or exploitation of methane gas hydrates would create jobs in these areas. Unlikely to be large numbers by 2020. Although these qualify as green in that they reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere, it could be argued that they are not long-term sustainable solutions.
25. Growth in Waste Management and Recycling:  Growth in waste management and recycling activities, driven by declining natural resources, environmental legislation and public opinion. Recycling is a dangerous sector in which to work.
26. Developments in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT): Increasing use of computers will require more energy. Much software contains redundant code reducing the efficiency of the computers. More energy efficient computers, in terms of both hardware and better software will reduce the inevitable increase in energy use in this area. Computers will be essential for control of, for example smart grid technology and smart appliances, optimisation of energy use in buildings and transport.
27. Development of smart appliances: Alongside a smart grid we will need smart appliances - appliances that can communicate with energy suppliers and take their own decisions about when to switch on and off in order to use electricity at the best price. In an industrial situation there could be risks associated with autonomous machines switching themselves on and off.
28. Developments in robotics and automation: Robots will increasingly be used to replace humans in dangerous jobs. They may also replace humans in green jobs. For example, use of computerised tractors in farming is already with us. ‘Precision farming’ uses global positioning technology and satellite images to make the best use of land.
29. Nanotechnology:  It is likely that nanotechnologies will contribute to green issues in various ways, for example changes in manufacturing resulting in saving of natural resources, novel materials, desalination, changes in food production, carbon nanotubes in new battery designs. New materials and nanoparticles may bring health and safety risks.
30. Biotechnologies: Use of Synthetic Biology and genetic modification techniques to generate desired traits in crops and animals may have health and safety implications. Genetic testing could be used to identify those at particular risk from toxic substances.
31. Green Chemistry: Substitution of chemicals for environmental purposes may inadvertently result in changes in health and safety risks.
32. Sustainable Manufacturing:  Manufacturing making use of low-carbon technologies, renewable and non-toxic materials, recycling,  low waste has strong green credentials, but new methods and new or substitute substances may bring changes in health and safety risks.
  Please using the drop-down menus decide in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.
   
   
   
 
Economic
33. European economic growth to 2020:  The state of European economies will have a significant effect on the availability of resources with which to tackle environmental issues. Will the European economy grow? Has the recession ended? Will another global financial crisis occur? Will the European economy be favourable to investment in green technologies?
34. Decreasing oil availability and increasing and more volatile oil prices: As easy to reach oil resources decline and demand increases, there will be increasing pressure to improve fuel efficiency and to seek alternative, renewable fuel sources. In addition to its transport and heating uses, oil is a feedstock for many industrial processes and so shortage and increasing prices will drive efficiency improvements and use of alternative sources, such as biomass.
35. Decreasing availability of gas and increasing and more volatile gas prices:  As easy to reach gas resources decline and demand increases, there will be increasing pressure to improve fuel efficiency, energy efficiency in buildings and to seek alternative, renewable fuel sources. In addition methane from biomass and novel natural sources, e.g. gas hydrates may be introduced.
36. Decreasing price of renewable energy:  As the cost of energy from renewable sources decreases, whether as a result of technological innovation or as a result of subsidies and incentives, its popularity and rate/extent of adoption will increase.
37. Shortages and increasing prices of natural resources (other than energy):  Increasing competition for natural resources from emerging economies and increasing use at home will lead to increased efforts in areas such as recycling, more efficient production, reduction of waste. Companies adopting more sustainable business practices to hold down costs by reducing waste.
38. Global Recession:  Governments are seeing the need for financial stimulus to deal with the recession as an ideal opportunity to green their economies
39. Globalisation:  Globalisation leads to increasing movement of goods and people, contributing to global energy use and therefore driving the need for efficiency. In addition, competition from emerging economies drives cost cutting in Europe resulting in greater efficiency. Increasingly demanding climate change regulations affecting multinational businesses could also drive efficiency gains.
40. Trade liberalism versus protectionism:  The current global economy has been enabled by, amongst other factors, increasingly liberal trade conditions. Continuation or re-emergence of recession could drive a return to protectionism. This could affect prices and availability of natural resources, including energy.
41. Shifts in World Economic Power: Emerging economies such as China and India are growing more quickly than OECD countries and their economic influence will increase accordingly. This could lead to increasing political influence, for example China's ability to affect decisions on carbon targets at the Copenhagen conference in 2009.
42. Employment - need to create jobs: Green jobs tend to be more labour intensive. However, some argue that green policies cause a net loss of jobs overall. Others argue that the environmental crisis that could occur as a result of climate change will threaten more jobs than environmental policies. Every green job contributes to greening of jobs in other parts of the economy.
43. The attitudes of insurance companies to developing green technologies:  Businesses need to be able to get cover for speculative ventures.
44. Creation of a suitable financial climate to enable investment in green technologies:  Businesses need to be able to raise capital to invest in green technologies. Many companies involved in this area are SMEs. Legislation to remove investment uncertainty and the availability of credit are essential drivers. Recognition by Venture capital firms that green technology development can give significant business opportunities. Many companies driving renewable energy solutions are SMEs. More established companies can use green technologies to stay at the cutting edge, expand sales and exploit new export markets.
45. Availability of capital for investment: Government action to encourage banks and venture capitalists to back green projects. Government to underwrite borrowing.
46. Market opportunities offered by environmental products:  Global market for environmental products and services (efficiency, recycling, water sanitation and efficiency and sustainable transport) is currently €1000 billion, and could reach €2200 billion by 2020.
47. Growth of the EU: Potentially bigger markets for green technology.
48. The need for food security:  Increasing energy costs could drive decreasing transport of food and increasing local food production.
49. The need to replace ageing infrastructure: Ageing infrastructure and networks need replacement over the coming decade, e.g. Electricity grids, New forms of energy generation require new infrastructure. Massive amount of activity required will affect size and shape of EU workforce. ‘Smart’ infrastructure requires manufacture, installation and maintenance.
50. Availability of a sizeable domestic market for green products and services and a requirement for local content: A ready domestic market and a need for local input will make developments more attractive to potential investors.
  Please using the drop-down menus decide in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.
   
   
   
 
Environmental
51. Global Climate Change Initiatives:  UN Initiatives - Kyoto, Copenhagen etc
52. EU Initiatives: European Directives and Regulations, including; Directive on the Promotion of the Use of Energy from Renewable Sources (2008); the Biofuels Directive (2003); Directive on the Energy Performance of Buildings (2003); Regulation on CO2 Emissions of Passenger Cars and the Eco-design Directive.
53. National Initiatives: The extent to which individual member states comply with EU initiatives.
54. Increasing responsibility on producers:  Extended producer responsibility laws (requiring companies to take back products at the end of their useful life) for all types of products and the requirement for eco-labels for all consumer products to ensure that consumers have access to information needed to make responsible purchases will encourage manufacturers to design and market more eco-friendly products.
55. Increasing frequency of natural disasters and/or freak weather: Increasingly extreme weather will drive public opinion on climate change, strengthening the position of pressure groups and potentially influencing government policies.
56. Increasing need to manage water supplies: Climate change may lead to water shortages in parts of the world, eg southern Spain. Activities to store water and to use less water will become increasingly important. Desalination might become more important.
57. Food security:  Climate change may drive the need for more efficient and/or more local food production. This could lead to an increase or decrease in jobs, depending on the solutions adopted.
58. Increasing importance of ‘uplands’: As climate change affects lower lying areas, higher ground might become more important in farming and forestry, possibly bringing new challenges.
  Please using the drop-down menus decide in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.
   
   
   
 
Political
59. Actions to encourage research and development:  Develop clear criteria to prioritise research and development needs in order to target research and innovation budgets towards environmentally friendly activities. Strengthen, optimise and expand energy research capabilities. Promote the development of technology clusters.
60. Actions to develop education and training to develop the necessary skills: Many observers fear that a shortage of skills will hamper the development of green activities and therefore green jobs. Action to encourage education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, to identify the skills gaps and to provide relevant training will promote the creation of green jobs. Skill levels are important to health and safety.
61. Action to ensure that regulation enables rather than stifles development of green jobs. Removal of the barriers to the creation of green jobs:  Ensuring that the regulatory regime is used in the drive to develop greener technologies, products, and services and thus green jobs.  For example, faster and easier permissioning procedures for green projects, including land use policies and planning permission, building codes, energy efficiency standards (for appliances, vehicles, etc.), targets for producing renewable energy and proportionate health and safety legislation.
62. A favourable tax regime for environmental activities: Tax incentives for green activities, favourable customs duties. Taxation of high carbon and polluting activities, e.g. aviation and motoring, removal of 'perverse' subsidies on fossil fuel activities in some cases. Shifting of tax from 'goods' to 'bads'.
63. Financial incentives: Grants, subsidies and loans, for renewable and low carbon energy projects, car scrappage schemes, feed-in tariffs
64. Governments to target recession busting financial stimulus: Many governments are seeing the need to boost their economies in the wake of the global recession as an opportunity to green their economies by targeting environmentally sound activities. In addition to the availability of finance, it may be that costs of major engineering projects will be lower over the next few years as contractors compete for business in a reduced market.
65. Carbon Markets:  Fixing the current shortcomings inherent in carbon trading and Kyoto Protocol related innovations such as the Clean Development Mechanism so that they can become reliable and adequate sources of funding for green projects and employment. Carbon pricing via EU’s Emissions Trading Scheme (EU-ETS).
66. Public sector investment policies:  The public sector should lead on energy efficiency by retrofitting energy efficiency measures to public buildings; using renewable energy systems on public buildings and ensuring that new public buildings are built to green standards. It should undertake initiatives to boost public transport and energy efficient vehicles to convert local government fleets to alternative vehicles or fuels. Procurement policies should favour green products and services from local providers.
67. Tax incentives, rebates, reduced fees or streamlined permitting for private building owners that invest in energy efficiency, renewable energy, or green building:  Technical assistance or innovative financing for private investment in renewable energy, efficiency, green building, alternative vehicles or green space. Green building codes, energy conservation ordinances, or other requirements for new green buildings or retrofits of existing buildings. Land use and infrastructure policies to support green manufacturing companies.  
68. Existence of adjustment policies:  Where jobs may be lost as a result of the creation of green jobs, action to retrain and redeploy displaced staff may reduce the risk of opposition to green job creation.
69. Increased house building to cope with demand: Requirements for new housing to be energy efficient or even ‘carbon neutral’ will increase the number of green jobs in construction.
  Please using the drop-down menus decide in EACH of the categories, which THREE drivers in order of importance you think could contribute to creating new and emerging risks associated with new technologies in green jobs by 2020.
   
   
   
 
 
Thank you again for assisting with our project; your contribution is very much appreciated.
  Would you be willing to be contacted in the future with regard to this project?
 
If you have any questions or would like further information on this project please contact the HSL project leader:
Peter.Ellwood@hsl.gov.uk

or the EU-OSHA lead Emmanuelle Brun:
brun@osha.europa.eu

Click the Submit button below to complete the survey. After submission you will be redirected to HSL's website.
 
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