Arup report maze Towards a safe and healthy future of work Evolution or revolution?


What if, as an employee, no matter where you worked in the world, there was a minimum standard for workplace safety and health based on harm reduction principles?

Despite continuous change in the world of work, one thing remains constant: harm still happens. At a global level, work-related ill health, accidents and deaths remain alarmingly common, causing long-lasting damage to individuals, families and communities.

What if the future of work changed that fact?

To introduce harm reduction principles at a global scale for workplace safety and health, we must prepare. Preparation is, of course, key to effective execution. How well - or not - we execute is where we learn. And turning learning into action through evolution is the process by which we improve. So, I invite you to read Towards a safe and healthy future of work with the principles of preparation, execution, learning and evolving at the front of your mind.

This report is designed to provoke you to think about the future of work and what is in the ‘Art of the Possible’. It aims to challenge everyone who has a part to play in creating healthy and safe work environments for the global workforce, to come together, and to ensure this fundamental right becomes a reality for all. Rather than the current situation, where workplace safety and health remains an aspiration beyond the reach of many.

Changes in technology will continue to reduce exposure to harm. But, as we challenge stakeholders to be forward-thinking in their approaches to addressing the risks of the future world of work, we must ensure that the enduring fundamentals are in place to effectively contain risk and reduce harm.

So, it’s over to you. Whatever your role in shaping the workplaces of the future, you have ownership of the reduction of harm. You can shape the future and create healthy and safe working environments that enable employees to thrive, and drive the sustainability of your organisation forward.

I worry the impact of harm on the future global workforce won’t improve. What if as a result of reading this report, workplaces of the future become healthy and safe because of the actions you take? How many lives could we save?

Stuart Hughes portrait

Stuart Hughes CMIOSH

IOSH President and Head of Health and Safety at Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team