ROWER was an EC funded (FP-7 HEALTH 2007-A) Coordination and Support Action aiming to enhance research on the economic aspect of Occupational Health and Safety.
As work is an economic activity, all issues related to such an activity, like occupational accidents and diseases, cannot be effectively dealt with unless this perspective is adequately examined. Workers find themselves in labour for economic motives and to a large extent these motives define their behaviour (and OHS-related behaviour too) in it.
Enterprises as economic entities can only perceive economic motives and, therefore, their behaviour in all issues (OHS included) can only be economically driven. Therefore, the economic aspect of OHS, although it is not the only important aspect, cannot be less than significant. However, despite its large historical tradition that goes centuries ago, it is not sufficiently developed as a research topic.
The aim of ROWER project was to help enhancing research in this topic through a Coordination and Support Action that brought together the leading OHS Economists and encouraged contributions.
The existing knowledge was gathered through literature reviews, meetings and conferences and was made available to the community through a dynamic on-line repository that addresses all relevant OHS Economics issues and allows for discussion and communication of principles, case studies and research.
During the period of development of ROWER project, two International Conferences were developed, along with two Working groups (one in co-operation with ECOSH project). 256 researchers attended these meetings contributing 121 papers and presentations.
There was also a special issue of an international journal (Ege Academic Review) including 15 papers of the first conference. Finally all the material gathered and developed throughout ROWER was included in an on-line Repository-Textbook of Occupational Safety and Health Economics
Through its meetings and events, ROWER has already motivated and assisted new researchers to enter in the topic.
After its completion, ROWER remains an on-line handbook for Occupational Health and Safety Economics that is frequently used as a reference, as the research on the economic aspect of Health and Safety is ongoing.