Netherlands — ‘Win–Win’: a health-improvement project in a painting company
Van der Geest Schilderspecialisten is a painting company and employs 125 people, most of whom are over 45 years. While there is no legislation that requires health programmes for older workers, in 2010, the company began ‘Win–Win’, an early-intervention project to improve the physical and mental health and retention of employees. The project uses online tools specific to small and medium-sized enterprises, which are maintained by the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), allowing for knowledge exchange. Initial health surveys, completed by 41 % of employees, identified significant weight and smoking issues. In partnership with its health insurer, the company offers health promotion activities and encourages early reporting of health issues to management. Supported by ‘Tigra’, the national network for occupational health, the company put in place a system dealing employee health complaints, including adaptations of working conditions (e.g. working station, working schedule) or provision of health services (e.g. physiotherapy). . In consultation with employees, improvements were implemented in the management of sickness absence and return to work. Activities were well received, with further awareness raising planned to ensure sustainable working. Success factors included the inter-company knowledge exchange, worker involvement and external support involved. Information exchange through TNO demonstrates the transferability of the programme.