New ways of working and occupational health and safety

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Globalization, improvements in mobility (AVE and low-cost airlines), mobile internet connections and cloud solutions allow us to work from anywhere in the world as if we were in our own office.


One of the worst experiences I had about three or four years ago was when I left my laptop at security in the airport in Barcelona. Among the boarding passes (back then, today I have them on my mobile), removing the iPad from the suitcase, and the laptop, phone, belt, bathroom bag, keys, watch, jacket, and coat, as well as the rush, lack of sleep (it was at 6 am), and people shoving me, all of this made me forget the laptop under a tray in the airport. I realized it when I was on the plane, and they would not let me leave because the flight was about to take off for Tenerife. All I could do was send a SMS to my wife. And take off… I spent some three hours in torture. Wondering what to do, how could I retrieve the data, how would I make my presentation to the clients…

Finally, when arriving in Tenerife, I knew from a SMS that they had located the laptop and it was safe in lost and found. First hurdle overcome.

I had my first meetings without showing anything from my laptop, and I arrived at the hotel. There I got in front of one of the computers in the hotel and thanks to the IT department of my company I could work like I was working on my laptop: Enterprise gmail, dropbox, and citrix helped me to do this. And since then I’m more of a fan of cloud technology, if possible, and I love the IT department at PrevenControl.

The next day, the presentation with the main customer was perfect because first of all I could do it without any problems from their computer terminal, and besides, it reinforced the idea on the customer that this was a versatile, easy and simple software solution to use from any terminal. The customer purchased the software solution and I gained confidence in cloud solutions, and I adopted a new way of doing demos thanks to this episode of absolute computational resilience.

Since then, when someone asks me where my office is I answer pointing to my laptop bag. And this is quite true. Although I have a workplace that is more or less centralized, I am changing where I carry out my work each day.

But … how do we connect this with the prevention of occupational risks?

We have been taught that we must assess the risks of our job (reflexes, standing, chair, display screens, etc), but understood from the traditional view. What happens when technology allows that this static work position turns into a new completely changing concept? How do we assess the risk?

In this sense it is clear that more than assessing the awareness factor is very important. To this end a tremendous help includes initiatives such as the Health and Safety department of Vodafone Spain, which five years ago had the vision to make life easier for labor migrants with videos like this:

These short videos are much more effective than some monotonous training sessions of two hours explaining occupational hazards in offices. However it is not considered “training” under Article 19 of the Spanish OHS Law. However, I assure you that for me, they have been very helpful and millions of Internet users who have seen it and other videos produced by Vodafone as well.

Should we consider new ways of working in risk prevention adapted to the new ways of working?


PrevenControl es la firma especializada en seguridad y salud laboral que propone soluciones eficaces e innovadoras para la mejora del negocio y la reputación de sus clientes a través de la consultoría, el uso de la tecnología y la formación.

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