The project touches an important topic as by 2030, workers aged 55–64 are expected to make up 30 % or more of the workforce in many European countries. Longer working lives require safe and healthy conditions.
The Europe 2020 strategy identifies demographic change as one of the major challenges that Europe faces. To address this, the European Union (EU) Strategic Framework on Health and Safety at Work 2014–2020 outlines measures to promote good practice and improve occupational safety and health (OSH) conditions for all workers.
One-quarter of workers report that their work affects their health and that they would not be able to do the same job when they are 60. However, OSH risks can be dealt with, resulting in a safer, healthier and fairer working environment for all.
The risk of companies suffering from general labour shortages to shortages of skilled workers and concerns about productivity and absenteeism are real for Ceemet members. However, by fulfilling their legal obligations and promoting healthy working practices for all ages, employers are likely to see reduced staff turnover and improved productivity.
“Ceemet is proud being part of this EU-OSHA campaign. The MET companies know that a safe and healthy working environment in which employees of all ages can achieve their potential is a benefit for the company too.” - Uwe Combüchen, Ceemet Director General.
In addition to safeguarding workers and meeting legal obligations, good OSH management practices can have significant benefits:
- a healthy, productive and motivated workforce, which enables companies and other organisations to remain competitive and innovative;
- valuable skills and work experience kept within an organisation through knowledge transfer and a greater pool of talent and skill;
- greater well-being at work.
Management of workplace safety and health in the context of the ageing workforce will not only improve the health and daily lives of individual workers. It can improve the productivity and cost-effectiveness of an organisation.