On 6 June 2014, the European commission has set out a strategic framework for Health and Safety at Work 2014-2020. The framework tries to address new and upcoming issues, such as ageing of the EU’s workforce, more focus on prevention and focussing on small and medium-sized enterprises.
The ageing of the EU’s workforce should be met with the stepping up of prevention of work-related diseases. Also, the strategic framework wants to support the adaptation of workplaces to older worker, and experimenting with ‘Ambien Assisted Working’ solutions. Also, the European Parliament has called for a pilot project on health and safety for older workers, which is being conducted since 2013 by the Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA). The currently conducted campaign for Healthy Workplaces, focussing on stress management, is also part of the strategy.
According to the Commission, the focus on small and medium-sized enterprises will feed into the development of technical assistance and tools, such as a risk assessment platform online called OiRA.
The tools that the Commission will use for the implementation of the Framework are social dialogue and awareness-raising campaigns and enforcement of existing legislation, as well as through the European Social Fund and the Employment and Social Innovation Programme. Most notably, the European Social Fund has a budgetary line on ‘active and healthy ageing’ that can be tapped into. The Strategy follows a public consultation in 2013 as well as the interventions at the EU Conference on Working Conditions on 28 April, at which AGE participated.
AGE welcomes a stronger focus on prevention and the inclusion of small and medium-sized enterprises, which employ a majority of the EU’s work force in the Strategy. AGE considers that high standards on working conditions are crucial to allow the employment of older people, and subsequently the building-up of the sustainability of the EU’s pension systems.
For more information, please contact Philippe Seidel at the AGE Secretariat:firstname.lastname@example.org