European Week of Health and Safety: Why It Is Important To Remember The Purpose Even After The Week Is Over

Last week was the European week of health and safety. The week happens every year and is an incentive from the EU-OSHA to create “Healthy workplaces for all ages”.

Why is this a focus now?

Statistics show that the workforce is ageing; by 2030 workers over 55 years of age will make up 30% of the entire workforce. This creates challenges for the employees therefore creating challenges for the employer which generates the need for awareness and guidelines. This is where the campaign steps in. Safety representatives are encouraged to advocate for their employees, stay informed about issues, and keep updated on inspections and checklists. In order to get people involved and active within the campaign, many events were held for Health and Safety week.

Important highlights from this year's week include: October 27th, an event that took place in Madrid at the El Instituto Nacional de Seguridad e Higiene en el Trabajo (INSHT). This event affords the opportunity to discuss the ageing workforce and specifically what each age contributes to their jobs and what practices may help in solving any disadvantages.

Another event which took place in Stockholm on Friday, October 28th is the annual OSH parliament. Stockholm was host to many notable speakers including Erna Zelmin-Ekenhem, Director General of the Swedish Work Environmental Authority and Christa Sedlatschek, director of EU-OSHA. 


Why is this week important to you?

A study made by the EU-OSHA reveals that workload in combination with ageing affects workers’ health. For you as an employer it is important to keep a focus on OSH in order to make good occupational health and safety management. What is often forgotten in the planning of OSH is the ageing of workers, and that means that skilled workers have challenges in providing the same quality work over time.

When considering OSH you take your demographic of workers into consideration, and that helps you to create a healthier work environment for your workers. 

Next steps

The EU-OSHA doesn't just want you to be aware of OSH during the week. The wish with this campaign is to implement strong OSH practises all over Europe long term. You can contribute by creating awareness of the campaign in your workplace. See here how to get started.

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Want to follow the campaign?

Upcoming events worth following this month from the campaign are:

4th of November: 8th Annual Venice Conference - “Innovative Approaches in Delivering Pensions and Healthcare”

4th of November: Croatia - Holistic approach: Better prevention during the whole working life

9th of November: Germany - Life & Work 4.0.

10th of November: Latvia - Good or bad working environment: How to measure it?

11th of November: Italy – The Future of Work – A matter of sustainability

17th of November: International Conference "Promoting a sustainable working life: Healthy workplaces for all ages"

21st of November: Belgium - GEB Forum: Employee Benefits - it's a people business and GEB Forum: Employee Benefits - it's a people business. See more details on the events here.

What do you think about the initiative from EU-OSHA? Let us know on Twitter.


If you want to broaden your understanding around the health and safety topic, check out our new blog series about the VUCA framework. Not yet familiar with the term? It comes from Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity.

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