The EU Agency for Health and Safety at Work (EU-OSHA) has announced the creation of a partnership for its next two-year awareness-raising campaign, focusing at workplaces for all ages. The campaigns will stress how companies can work for healthier workers by emphasising prevention, rehabilitation and return to work at all ages. AGE Platform will apply to be an official campaign partner.
EU-OSHA: increasing retirement ages means health and safety needs to come first
Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA presented the campaign as over-timely, as today’s younger people are tomorrow’s old. Increasing retirement ages would mean longer working lives and a more intense exposure to workplace-related risks. The campaign’s aim is to provide information and tools, to stir the exchange of information and good practice. Healthy workplaces are essential also for the economy of the European Union, as healthy workers are more productive workers. Ms Sedlatschek explicitly welcomed AGE as a campaign partner and looked forward to having the European Youth Forum joining the partnership as well.
Psycho-social risks need a stronger recognition
Member of the Parliament Ole Christensen, author of a much-acclaimed report on health and safety at work, highlighted the importance of health and safety to increase the sustainability of social security systems. Asked by AGE Platform about the role he sees for psycho-social risks to be included in the EU agenda on health and safety, he called for more ambition by the European Commission to include these as risks. He warned against the talk about better regulation, as this language is destroying the way health and safety is conceptualised.
Evaluation of health and safety acquis planned
The European Commission was represented by Stefan Olsson, Director for employment and social legislation and social dialogue at DG Employment, who lauded the last campaign by EU-OSHA on stress management: with few resources, very good results have been achieved. He highlighted the Commission initiative on the social pillar, where the experiences from the campaign will be valuable. The Commission works, in the shorter term, on updating the directive on carcinogens and mutagens to include new substances, and a large evaluation of the legislative framework around health and safety is planned. Psycho-social risks are important, but it is not clear how they should be included in European legislation.
AGE: look at gender differences, start young and address employability globally
AGE Platform highlighted the importance of the campaign to older workers, as many of them have to work longer, while only half of workers between 55 and 64 work and there are strong gender differences and regional differences. Older workers are most at risk to become long-term unemployed when they lose their jobs, and they have the least access to in-work training and live-long learning. Work-life balance, especially for those caring for family members in need for care, is especially important for them. Prevention should start as a very young age. AGE Platform highlighted the initiatives it is promoting in the field of age-friendly environments: workers spend much of their time at work and therefore they should be accessible for all ages. AGE invited employers to take part in the European Covenant on Demographic Change, which aims to bring together local and regional stakeholders to exchange on how these environments can be built.
EU-OSHA campaign partnership open
The EU-OSHA campaign ‘Healthy workplaces for all ages’ will be kicked off in spring and last until 2017. The special feature of the campaign will be an initiative to exchange good practices. Any international employer or pan-European network is invited to join the campaign as long as they commit to at least one campaign-related activity. New partners can apply for partnership between 6 April and 20 May 2016 on the campaign website:
For further information, please contact Philippe Seidel Leroy from the AGE Secretariat: Philippe.email@example.com