IOSH is supporting the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work’s (EU-OSHA) ‘Healthy Workplaces for All Ages’ campaign.
The drive aims to raise awareness of the importance of good occupational health and safety management throughout people’s working lives and tailoring work to an individual’s abilities. It will also enable the exchange of information and good practice.
Judith McNulty-Green, policy adviser at IOSH, gave a presentation on the scheme at a meeting of the East Anglia Branch.
She said research suggests that by 2030, 55 to 64-year-olds will make up at least 30 per cent of Europe’s workforce and that this brings about increased health risks.
“Longer working lives may result in longer exposure to risks,” said Judith. “There will be more workers with chronic health problems and specific needs, making rehabilitation and return to work procedures of increased importance.”
To overcome this, Judith said, businesses are encouraged to consider preventative measures throughout an employee’s working life, adding that health in later life is affected by working conditions in earlier life.
She said consideration should be given to a number of factors, including work environment and organisation, training and lifelong learning, and work–life balance.
She added: “Promoting sustainable work and healthy ageing can result in a healthier and more motivated workforce, retention of knowledge and expertise and greater business productivity. It requires a holistic approach and consideration of a range of factors. These require input and commitment from all parties in that multi-disciplinary team.”
The presentation was part of the East Anglia meeting, which was called ‘Mindfulness, stress and resilience at work’ and held at Cambridge Golf and Conference Centre on Friday 7 October.
At the meeting, social psychologist Jutta Tobias also gave a presentation about how people can manage their stress levels by learning to become more aware of their own thoughts and emotions.
Other IOSH networks are being encouraged to share information with members about the EU-OSHA campaign.
Simon Hatson, chair of the East Anglia Branch, said: “The presentation on the EU-OSHA campaign was very informative for our members.
“The health of the workforce is a vital consideration for employers and, as such, something that the East Anglia Branch has committed to driving the discussion of in our own strategy. By taking steps to look after our workers when they are young, the benefits for both the employer and employees will be huge in the years to come.”
For more information about the campaign and IOSH’s support of it, including details of how to get involved, visit www.iosh.co.uk/healthyworkplaces