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Building a knowledge Repository for Occupational Well-being Economics Research

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The economics of health and safety

Occupational health and safety is about the well-being of workers, but there is also an important economic aspect . Since this economic aspect has received relatively little academic attention, an EU-backed project directed a much-needed spotlight on this field.

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As work is an economic activity, the economic aspect significantly affects the view of both workers and enterprises, not to mention governments towards occupational health and safety. However, this is by no means the only aspect they must consider. Despite the undoubted importance of this factor, the economic aspect of occupational health and safety is a relatively under-researched subject. With funding from the Health theme of the EU's Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), the 'Building a knowledge repository for occupational well-being economics research' (ROWER) project helped coordinate and support research in this important field. Bringing together leading European experts in occupational health and safety, the project supported and coordinated research efforts into the economic aspect by building a knowledge repository. ROWER carried out an extensive literature review and organised conferences and events to gather relevant information. This knowledge was distilled into reports and made available to the occupational health and safety research community via a dynamic web platform. The interactive website allowed researchers to analyse and comment on all the available information. In addition, user-created online forums facilitated debate on specific themes. ROWER's focus on the under-researched economic aspect of occupational health and safety will help policymakers take account of this vital factor when formulating policy.

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