European Health and Safety Week – Healthy Workplaces for all Ages
- Date: Monday 24th October 2016
Taking place this week between the 24 and 28 October events are being held across Europe to mark the occasion keeping with the theme ‘Healthy workplaces for all ages’ aiming to help workers, managers and employers recognise and manage the challenges of an ageing workforce. The European Agency for Safety and Health at work (EU-OSHA) is highlighting the importance of using life-course approach.
Most employers are interested in providing good healthy workplaces for employees by fulfilling legal obligations and promoting safety and health for all ages.
Successfully adapting the workplace can bring profound benefits; not only is the workplace happier and safer but also;
1. increased productivity and motivate – maximising innovation and competitiveness
2. reduce absenteeism and sick leave
3. reduce staff turnover
4. keeping valuable skills and experience in the organisation
Good workplace design and work organisation can benefit all age groups. Rehabilitation and policies for supporting return to work after illness are also increasingly important in the context of an ageing workforce.
Where do we start?
Adapting the workplace
Adapting work to individual abilities, skills and health status as well as other aspects of diversity among workers, such as gender, age, disabilities, migrant status, etc. This involves considering age-related characteristics of different age groups, including potential changes in functional capacity and health.
Changes in functional capacities can be addressed, for example, through:
- use of equipment and other assistive technologies to reduce physical workload
- good ergonomic design of tools, equipment and furniture
- restrictions on heavy lifting and physically demanding tasks
- training in appropriate lifting and carrying techniques
- good workplace design to minimise the likelihood of falls
- allowance for recovery, for example through shorter and more frequent breaks
- job re-design
- job rotation
- organisation of shift work, for example by using a ‘fast forward rotating shift system’.
If you would like any further information on how to make your workplace safer for all ages then SSG have a wide range of materials that could help you. Please contact us on 01752 201616 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.