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The Healthy Workplaces Campaign

26 May 2017

The HSM Campaigns Hub provides you with information on the latest health & safety initiatives and how you can get involved. This month we examine The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work's Healthy Workplaces Campaign.

The Healthy Workplaces Campaign is EU-OSHA's flagship awareness-raising activity and the main way of getting the organisation's message to workplaces across Europe. EU-OSHA is the European Union information agency for occupational safety and health. The Healthy Workplaces Campaign's message is: "Safety and health at work is everyone's concern. It's good for you. It's good for business." EU-OSHA helps you to promote it by making practical guides and tools freely available. Each campaign also features the Good Practice Awards and the Healthy Workplaces Film Award.

Safe and healthy working conditions throughout the whole working life are good for workers, business and society as a whole. This is the main message of the 2016–17 Healthy Workplaces Campaign.

The 2016–17 Healthy Workplaces Campaign  has four key objectives:

  1. Promoting sustainable work and healthy ageing from the start of the working life
  2. Preventing health problems throughout the working life
  3. Providing ways for employers and workers to manage occupational safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce
  4. Encouraging the exchange of information and good practice.

Why is this campaign so important?
According to EU-OSHA, the European workforce is ageing. Retirement ages are rising and working lives are likely to become longer.
The information agency believes that working is good for physical and mental health, and good management of occupational safety and health increases productivity and efficiency. Demographic change can cause problems, but ensuring a sustainable working life helps to meet those challenges.

Following the latest campaign launch in April 2016, two 'European Weeks for Safety and Health at Work' have been established, along with the presentation of the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards in April 2017. The campaign will culminate in the Healthy Workplace Summit in November 2017. There are also many smaller events throughout the campaign, including workshops, seminars and networking opportunities.

The campaign is open to individuals as well as organisations of all sizes in all sectors, including small and medium-sized enterprises. These can be, among others:
managers, supervisors and workers:

  • Trade unions and safety and health representatives
  • OSH and HR professionals
  • Professional associations
  • Providers of training and education.

EU-OSHA encourages those involved to pass on campaign materials, organise activities and events and use the age management tools. There is also the opportunity to take part in the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards, join the European Weeks for Safety and Health at Work of 2016 and 2017 and become an official or national campaign partner.


Since its official launch in April 2016, many resources have been made available on the dedicated campaign website at www.healthy-workplaces.eu, such as:

  • Reports and case studies on managing OSH in the context of an ageing workforce
  • A practical e-guide to managing occupational safety and health in the context of an ageing workforce
  • PowerPoint presentations, leaflets, posters and other campaign materials
  • Information on the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards
  • Infographics
  • Animated videos.

EU-OSHA's E-guide is a practical tool to help employers and workers manage occupational safety and health (OSH) in the context of an ageing workforce. It is interactive and user-friendly, aiming to help enterprises of all sizes assess and deal with risks to workers and meet the needs of workers of all ages. The E-guide offers simple explanations of the issues, along with practical examples of how to deal with risks relating to ageing and how to make sure that all workers stay safe and healthy in the long term, as well as links to further resources.

Practical tools and guidance

Addressing the range of issues associated with an ageing workforce - from workplace health promotion to return-to-work policy and diversity-sensitive risk assessment - may seem daunting, but there are resources that can help you to make the right decisions. EU-OSHA's practical tools and guidance have been developed at national, EU and international levels to help organisations, and particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, to successfully manage an ageing workforce take positive action to minimise risk, even with a limited budget.

Data visualisation

This data visualisation tool highlights the key findings of a project carried out by EU-OSHA at the request of the European Parliament, aimed at understanding occupational safety and health (OSH) in the context of an ageing EU workforce. It provides an accessible visual presentation of data on demographics, employment, working conditions, and health in the context of an ageing workforce, and of OSH and related policies addressing the challenges.

The tool is interactive and users can find out more about the challenges of an ageing European workforce, as well as check out the existing policies, strategies and programmes of different EU Member States. Users can also examine the demographic and socio-economic diversity, as well as the differences in health and social systems, among four European ‘country groups’, and the relevance of this to policy development. 'Country profiles’ compare age-related OSH and rehabilitation strategies in a user's country with the EU as a whole and with other European countries and a glossary of frequently used terms is provided so users can share the tool on social media outlets.

Case Studies

A collection of case studies demonstrate some of the practical ways in which the challenges of an ageing workforce have been successfully addressed. They include an age management programme in a local government organisation in Finland, using performance reviews, management training and occupational healthcare provision to reduce sick leave and increase retirement age; the introduction of lifting equipment and changes to work organisation in a roofing microenterprise in Germany, with the aim of retaining older workers; and a programme providing new equipment and better lighting and improving work organisation in a Polish sewing plant that eliminated accidents, reduced absenteeism and increased precision.

Napo film

Napo is the hero of a series of awareness-raising cartoons about workplace safety and health. These films are an ideal way to spread the basic principles of occupational safety and health in an engaging and informal way. All the films in the series are language free, so can be understood by anyone. The Napo film addresses several aspects of OSH in the context of an ageing workforce, demonstrating how an employee may be affected and react to them. As in all films in the series, Napo helps identify risks, and offers practical solutions and suggestions for improvement.

Campaign toolkit

EU-OSHA's Campaign toolkit provides a step-by-step guide to planning and running effective promotion campaigns, regardless of the size of an organisation.
According to EU-OSHA: "Contrary to popular opinion, it isn’t complicated. You just have to get the ‘mix’ right, including the right messages, target audiences and other factors. It is not a set of fixed rules; rather, it is a collection of tried and tested recommendations."

The toolkit consists of two major components:

  1. How to run a campaign: a theoretical/strategic section looking at the different steps needed to set up a campaign
  2. Tools and examples: a second section providing practical, real-life examples of communication tools used for OSH campaigning.

From the examples and the tips and tricks provided in the toolkit, pick and choose what you want and adapt them to your individual circumstances.

How to get involved
If you would like to help EU-OSHA get the campaign’s messages across there are a number of ways to get involved in the Healthy Workplaces for all Ages campaign. These include:

  • Distributing and publicising campaign materials to help raise awareness
  • Organising activities and events, such as training courses, conferences and competitions
  • Using and promoting the practical age-management tools available
  • Participating in the Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards, in which organisations of different sizes and sectors are recognised for innovative contributions to occupational safety and health (OSH)
  • Taking part in the European Weeks for Safety and Health at Work of 2016 and 2017 — the centre of OSH activity in Europe
  • Becoming an official campaign partner, if you are a pan-European or international organisation.

For more information visit https://osha.europa.eu/en/healthy-workplaces-campaigns