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European campaign launched to keep older workers healthy
The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) is urging employers to adapt workplace tasks so that staff can remain healthy and work up until their natural retirement.
EU-OSHA is offering practical examples of measures employers can adopt to improve working conditions for older people, such as adapting work tasks and carrying out age-sensitive risk assessments.
Research commissioned by the Agency found that 87 per cent of participants believe occupational health and safety is important if people are to work for longer before they retire. The same survey also found that more than half of respondents felt their workplaces are not adapted to the needs of older people.
The Agency says there’s a need to be proactive in this area, as less than half of all 55-to-64-year-olds in the EU are working, and, in most cases, people who take early retirement do so due to ill health.
EU-OSHA director Christa Sedlatschek said this initiative shows the Agency’s support of the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations, which runs until the end of 2012. Sedlatschek said: “A good working life is an important part of active ageing. Young workers are the older workers of tomorrow, and good occupational safety and health has a crucial role to play in contributing to better and longer working lives.”
In the coming months, EU-OSHA, at the request of the European Parliament and Commission, will be launching a pilot project, investigating ways of improving the health and safety of older people at work.
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