23 Mar 2021

Preparing for a successful “Great Reset”’ where people and planet come first

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The online conference Vision Zero and the Great Reset, which was organised on 17 and 18 March 2021 by the International ORP Foundation in collaboration with the Global and the Danish Vision Zero Councils demonstrated that the global occupational safety and health (OSH) community is ready to contribute to a safer, healthier and more sustainable post-COVID-19 world of work.

While the pandemic is still causing a lot of disruption and pain, it also offers a unique opportunity to review and redesign our social and economic models. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has called upon the leaders of the world to contribute to the discourse for a new and better future for people and planet.

The conference, which was attended by a large international audience, marked the starting point for discussions amongst the global OSH community about the potential of prevention to secure the human dimension of this new social contract. While the pandemic stressed the importance of robust social and health protection systems and in particular increased the awareness in society, in business and amongst people of the importance of a safe and healthy behaviour, it is critical that awareness levels are sustained and strengthened further.

Importantly we need to manage four important challenges to unlock the potential of prevention, which are to change mind-sets, create new incentives, digitalise prevention and introduce new metrics. High-level representatives from the leading international OSH-organisations, business leaders and senior experts from national institutions and businesses shared inspiring strategic concepts and operational solutions, which confirmed that a new, more holistic approach to organisational health and sustainability, where people come first, is possible.

A new prevention mind-set both at national and business level based on Vision Zero and its 7 Golden Rules on the one hand and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030 on the other, endorsed by top-management and implemented at all levels of the organisation, was identified as a key driver for a solid prevention culture. There was a strong call for “democratizing” prevention and for extending safety, health and wellbeing “beyond the gates” of the workplace to families and communities.

New, positive incentives should be introduced to promote and support this new mind-set, and in line with a more holistic view of prevention proactive, leading indicators and new metrics should provide a more accurate assessment of the levels of health and sustainability of an organisation.

The conference also highlighted the potential of the digital economy to further reduce safety risks and improve protection levels, based on the principles of collaborative safety, and to introduce predictive prevention concepts and tools based on artificial intelligence (AI). A “New Way of Working” was suggested to a provide healthy and flexible work organisation for the dramatically increased online workforce, and the challenges of digitalisation should be addressed proactively, for example using an adapted version of the 7 Golden Rules for Vision Zero.

For programme details and the full recordings of the presentations and discussions go to https://fiorp.org/eventos/vision-zero-and-the-great-reset/#