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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 26/04/2017 - 11:00

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

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.

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 Award

Read about the Programme of the Maltese EU Presidency

Visit the Healthy Workplaces for All Ages campaign website


Notes to editors

1. For the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards 2016-17,42 entries were received from organisations of all sizes and from many sectors. Overall, 37 national entries (from 23 countries) and five entries from official campaign partners were received. Eight national entries and one official campaign partner were awarded and eight national entries and one official campaign partner were commended. Each of the examples is listed below, with a brief description of the awarded examples.

Awarded examples:

  • VitaS, Belgium: participatory measures to minimise physical and psychosocial risks in the social care sector.
  • Continental AG, Germany: a company-wide ergonomics and demographics programme in a major car manufacturer.
  • Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG, Germany: promoting health, know-how and flexibility through participatory action.
  • PSA Group, Spain: tailoring jobs for employees in car manufacturing to increase the employability of all.
  • MAVIR ZRt, Hungary: improving the work ability of older workers in the energy sector.
  • Zumtobel Group AG, Austria: maintaining and improving work ability and retaining workers in manufacturing.
  • Rudnik, Serbia: management and miners working together to reduce early retirement.
  • Lujatalo Oy, Finland: helping to ensure that construction workers reach retirement in good health.
  • SAP SE, official campaign partner: ‘Run Your Health’ — empowering employees of all ages to take action for their health.

Commended examples:

  • Service Facility for the Ministry of the Interior, the Czech Republic
  • Region Midtjylland (Central Denmark Region), Denmark
  • Tarkett S.p.A., Italy
  • Vassiliko Cement Works PLC, Cyprus
  • Loders Croklaan, the Netherlands
  • Police Directorate Murska Sobota, Slovenia
  • Duslo, a.s., Slovakia
  • The Federation of Finnish Technology Industries, Finland
  • Toyota Material Handling, official campaign partner.

2. ‘Healthy Workplaces for All Ages’ is a Europe-wide campaign open to individuals and organisations at the local, national and European levels. In more than 30 European countries the campaign is managed by EU-OSHA’s country-specific focal points and is supported by media partners and Official Campaign Partners — pan-European and multinational organisations.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, EU-OSHA is campaigning to raise awareness of the need to encourage safe and sustainable working from the beginning of the working lives of employees. The campaign raises awareness of good practice in OSH management in terms of ageing employees and tailoring work to the needs of individuals to ensure their continued participation in the labour market. The Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2016-17 has the following key objectives:

  • to promote sustainable work and healthy ageing from the start of the working life;
  • to prevent health problems throughout the working life;
  • to provide ways for employers and workers to manage occupational safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce; and
  • to encourage the exchange of information and good practice.

3. The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) contributes to making Europe a safer, healthier and more productive place to work. The Agency researches, develops, and distributes reliable, balanced, and impartial safety and health information and organises pan-European awareness raising campaigns. Set up by the European Union in 1994 and based in Bilbao, Spain, the Agency brings together representatives from the European Commission, Member State governments, employers’ and workers’ organisations, as well as leading experts in each of the EU-28 Member States and beyond.

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