New forms of worker management based on Artificial Intelligence and their implications for OSH

Artificial intelligence (AI) and digital technologies have given rise to new forms of managing workers. Unlike earlier forms of management that largely rely on human supervisors, worker management using AI refers to new management systems and tools that collect real-time data about workers’ behaviours from various sources with the purpose of informing management and supporting automated or semi-automated decisions based on algorithms or more advanced forms of AI. These worker management systems are increasingly being implemented in a variety of sectors and jobs.

These novel forms of monitoring and managing workers give rise to a number of legal, regulatory, ethical and privacy issues as well as challenges and risks for occupational safety and health (OSH), particularly in terms of psychosocial risk factors. Nevertheless, if they are built, implemented and used under certain conditions, they may also provide helpful information to identify and prevent OSH risks, including harassment and violence, and support evidence-based intervention.