Digitalization, Occupational Safety

The 7 latest trends in occupational health and safety in 2022

Learn about the developments international experts foresee, and how you can best face them

6 minutes03/20/2022

What technologies should occupational safety professionals be watching for the future? What long-term changes can be expected in terms of Safety Leadership and the role of managers in occupational safety? Will the use of ESG criteria lead to more resources and higher prioritization of better occupational safety? Eleven internationally renowned experts and 500 professionals and managers answer these questions and more in this year’s Safety Management Trend Report. We’ve summarized the results into one compact infographic for you here. 

Occupational Safety 2022: COVID-19 influence and beyond

The Corona pandemic will remain a focus for occupational safety in 2022. The state of emergency has become a constant companion in our daily lives. The challenges of the pandemic remain with us and remain significant. Nevertheless, the results of this year’s study also show that attention is widening to include other strategic topics once again. For one thing, the pandemic has served as a driver of digitalization. For another, many now see that health is a crucial part of the bigger picture. Everything is connected – and, as a result, the work of OSH professionals is increasingly shifting towards integrated responsibility management where the environment, social affairs and corporate governance go hand in hand.

Download the infographic as a PDF:

A closer look at 3 trends

The Safety Management Trend report 2022 brings together the perspectives, hopes, concerns and outlooks of eleven internationally renowned experts and those of more than 500 occupational safety managers and professionals. The topics of digitalization and Industry 4.0, Safety Leadership and ESG were especially pivotal this year. 

Digitalization and Industry 4.0

There is no question that the coronavirus pandemic has significantly accelerated digitalization. This digital upheaval is particularly plain to see in the areas of risk assessments and training. However, the need for digital assistance and optimization is far from being fully met and will grow further in 2022, especially in relation to incident management, contractor management and visitor management. Assistance from digital technologies does not always involve state-of-the-art solutions such as virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), drones and artificial intelligence (AI). 

Safety Leadership

Leadership skills and human cooperation under the umbrella of safety leadership are consistently thought to be a coherent solution to new challenges. Actively integrating managers and employees in occupational safety activities is discussed again and again in this year’s Safety Management Trend Report and a key element of a successful safety culture. This area is still regarded both as a top priority and as the field with the greatest development potential.


When it comes to the future success of occupational safety, we must not lose sight of the positive pressure generated by the public and by stakeholders. In 2022, organizations will come under growing pressure to demonstrate their sustainability and showcase their environmental and socially responsible credentials. ESG criteria are a significant milestone and will bring about a closer connection between commercial success and OSH strategy in future.

Want to really get the full picture?

We speak with industry experts every year and publish their thoughts on the most important trends shaping occupational safety. For a big picture view, download our infographics from prior years:

Or read one of the previous issues of the Safety Management Trend Report!