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5 Challenges of Global Megatrends to OHS

[fa icon="calendar"] 4/30/16 9:00 AM / by Deonie Botha

Deonie Botha

We've recently been looking at Megatrends in OHS and HSE, with a particular view on how these megatrends can affect OHS training in the workplace. In this blog post we will be examining more closely the 5 challenges these megatrends present to OHS.

5 challenges to HSE infographic

Challenge #1: The impact of information and communication technology on work and occupational health and safety

  • The emergence of new technologies is likely to affect how people to do their job, e.g. wearables.
  • The growth of existing technologies, e.g. mobile IT devices.
  • How technology enables organisations to structure themselves and to organise work.


Challenge #2: The impact of globalisation of trade on managing work and occupational health and safety

There are significant possibilities for trade across geopolitical borders and product markets extend beyond country borders. Firms are selective when it comes to deciding where to locate their workplaces, and are more likely to use migrant, low-skilled workers as these cost less. There is also the fact that manufacturing is declining, leading to an environment where a knowledge economy is the greatest (and growing) segment.


Challenge #3: The impact of a financial crisis on the nature of work and occupational health and safety

There are likely to be changes to:

  • levels of employment and employment contracts, including work time
  • types of firms either growing or declining
  • the nature of work and structure within existing firms, e.g. resulting from downsizing.


Challenge #4: The impact of changing location of work on occupational health and safety

This includes:

  • The type of environment and location where a worker performs their job role.
  • An increase in the number of locations where people work.
  • Exposure to a diverse range of hazards and difficulty in tracing any source of harm.
  • The effect of ICT on the location of workers and increased globalisation, which results in less travel but altered working time patterns.
  • An increase in needs and the demands of commuting to work.


Challenge #5: Trends in human resources management (HRM) practices affecting worker wellbeing

HRM is the function through which the organisation can gain increased organisational performance and competitive advantage via the selection and deployment of workers. There needs to be acknowledgement of the relationship between workers and employers becoming increasingly individualised.


Megatrends and OHS

The global macro-economic environment is characterised by megatrends, and these will have an impact on both occupational health and safety, and the nature and characteristics of future organisations. They will also affect the nature of ‘occupations’ (what we do and how we do it), and this is where OSH requirements will change, as well as training and organisational culture... Read More  



Megatrends and the Organisation of the Future

Megatrends are long-terms patterns or processes of transformation that are currently taking place. They are regarded as global forces that define a future world, with a potentially far-reaching impact on businesses, societies, economies, environments, cultures, and even the personal lives of individuals. Because megatrends are long-term patterns or processes, they are slow to form but will have a fundamental and determining effect on almost everything... Read More

Topics: HSE trends

Deonie Botha

Deonie Botha

Deonie is responsible for Innovation as well as Research and Development at SAMTRAC.

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