Innovative solutions for sustainable working lives recognised at the EU-OSHA Good Practice Awards ceremony

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In the run-up to the World Day for Safety and Health at Work on 28 April, the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards ceremony is held in Valletta, Malta. Organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA), the awards showcase successful interventions by European organisations to make their workplaces safer and healthier for workers of all ages — and therefore more productive.

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Workers at Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Germany

By implementing good practices in age management, employers can protect their workers’ health and safeguard the future of their businesses.

The Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU is hosting the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards ceremony on 26 April 2017 as part of its tripartite conference on occupational safety and health (OSH) "Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups”. The competition, which is a key element of the 2016-17 ‘Healthy Workplaces for All Ages’ Campaign, aims to highlight innovative examples of organisations taking action to promote sustainable working lives.

Speaking ahead of the conference, the Maltese Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties, the Hon. Dr Helena Dalli, said, ‘A key priority for the Maltese Presidency is putting the needs of citizens at the centre of everything we do. Many European workers aged over 50 believe that their work has a negative effect on their health. We hope that the awards will encourage enterprises throughout the EU and in Malta to take steps to make their workplaces safer, healthier and fairer for their employees.’

Commenting on the importance of safe and healthy working conditions throughout working life, Dr Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA, said, ‘The European workforce is ageing, and many countries are raising retirement ages. By implementing good practices in age management, employers can protect their workers’ health and safeguard the future of their businesses. With this competition we engage relevant stakeholders, provide examples of successful interventions and create a prevention culture across Europe.’

Entries to the competition came from all over Europe, from a wide range of sectors and from organisations of varying sizes. The awarded and commended examples were demonstrably successful, sustainable and transferable to other workplaces.

The winning organisations include an Austrian lighting manufacturer that established a new department dedicated to ensuring that employees were willing and able to remain in the workforce for longer; a German tyre manufacturer that created a company-wide database of positions and employee requirements to improve reallocation and reintegration of employees with specific needs; a family-owned Finnish construction company taking action to reduce the number of serious occupational accidents to zero by 2020; and a car manufacturer in Spain that introduced measures to tailor work to individuals and assess risks on a person-by-person basis.

Links:
Read more about the awarded and commended entries in the Good Practice Awards Booklet
Find out more about the Good Practice Awards
Read about the Programme of the Maltese EU Presidency
Visit the Healthy Workplaces for All Ages website

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Birgit Müller
European Agency for Safety and Health at Work
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