From research challenges to research priority
PEROSH outlined major areas for OSH research in its publication “Sustainable workplaces of the future – European Research Challenges for occupational safety and health”. The OSH Evidence group set a goal to identify systematic reviews of those research challenges in order to be able to list the implications for research.
First, the challenges were translated into questions and then the PEROSH OSH-evidence strategy was used to search for reviews and assess their quality.
For the research challenge “sustainable employability”, one review on the determinants and another on interventions to prolong working life were found, but none on economic incentives was identified. For “the effect of psychosocial working conditions on mental health”, 14 reviews were found with more or less similar conclusions and clear implications for research. For “ventilation to reduce exposure to nano-particles”, no reviews were found. For “new technologies”, especially telework, two reviews were identified but it was decided that there was a need to better determine the scope of that topic first. For “mental health rehabilitation interventions” there were three high-quality reviews which concluded that further research in this area was needed. The references to the described reviews above can be found in the OSH Evidence Database.
On the basis of this inventory of systematic reviews of research challenge topics, it was concluded that there was a need for scoping reviews, systematic reviews and concrete primary studies for topics in the area of the research challenges (For details see Priority setting for future European OSH research).