Europe is launching an initiative entitled, “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages,” to promote sustainable work and healthy aging from the beginning of working life to retirement.

The Europe-wide campaign will encourage both  private and public employers to protect their worker’s health by highlighting the importance of risk prevention; providing them with information and and tools for managing occupational safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce and assisting them in facilitating the exchange of best practices.

Good for business, too

‘We need to start now to cater for the needs of Europe’s future workplaces and workers,” said Marianne Thyssen, the European Commissioner for Social Affairs. “Workplaces that address the health challenges of an ageing workforce gain in productivity. This is good for workers and good for business.”

Christa Sedlatschek, Director of EU-OSHA, also emphasized the benefits to companies. Healthy workers are productive workers, and productive workers are essential to any effective organisation: it’s a win–win situation.”

Lodewijk Asscher, the Netherlands’ Presidency representative, stressed the importance of stimulating employers and workers to invest in “employability.”

Cradle to grave concept

“Using the power of people will always get the best result. It energizes people no matter what age. Here, the cradle to the grave concept certainly applies. The sooner you start, the longer you stay healthy and vital, and the better you can cope with change. Because the jobs of today might not exist in the future or might look a lot different to now. Therefore, it is important not to wait until that happens, but to prepare properly in good time.”

The initiative is being spearheaded by the European Commission and the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). It’s backed by the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC).