Proceedings chapter

AI Systems for Occupational Safety and Health: From Ethical Concerns to Limited Legal Solutions

Published inElectronic Government. EGOV 2022, Editors Janssen, M, p. 499-514
  • Lecture Notes in Computer Science; 13391
Publication date2022-08-30
First online date2022-08-30

Digital technologies in the workplace have undergone a remarkable evolution in recent years. Biosensors and wearables that enable data collection and analysis, through artificial intelligence (AI) systems became widespread in the working environment, whether private or public. These systems are heavily criticised in the media and in academia, for being used in aggressive algorithmic management contexts. However, they can also be deployed for more legitimate purposes such as occupational safety and health (OSH). Public authorities may promote them as tools for achieving public policy goals of OSH, and public employers may use them for improving employees’ health. Despite these positive aspects, we argue that the deployment of AI systems for OSH raises important issues regarding dual use, chilling effects and employment discrimination. We exemplify how these ethical concerns are raised in three realistic scenarios and elaborate on the legal responses to these issues based on European law. Our analysis highlights blind spots in which laws do not provide clear answers to relevant ethical concerns. We conclude that other avenues should be investigated to help determine whether it is legally and socially acceptable to deploy AI systems and eventually promote such tools as means to achieve the OSH public policy.

  • Occupational Health and Safety
  • Law
  • Ethics
  • Internet of Things
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Public sector
Citation (ISO format)
WEERTS, Sophie et al. AI Systems for Occupational Safety and Health: From Ethical Concerns to Limited Legal Solutions. In: Electronic Government. EGOV 2022. [s.l.] : Springer, 2022. p. 499–514. (Lecture Notes in Computer Science) doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-15086-9_32
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Proceedings chapter (Accepted version)

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