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Our ageing workforce: new online guide to help firms manage

Written by Jenny Lawson on 9 October 2017

A practical online guide is now available to help firms understand the impact of an older workforce on health & safety at work.

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Construction Workers

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EEN advisors have long worked with UK companies to help them keep up-to-date on rules affecting health & safety at work. So we were really interested to hear about a new practical guide for businesses about the health & safety aspects of our ageing workforce, which has been developed by the EU’s Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).


The issue of our older workforce, as birth rates decline and retirement ages rise, is rapidly moving up the business agenda.  It’s only going to get more serious: by 2030, workers aged over 55 are expected to make up 30 % or more of the total workforce in many European countries.  This trend has all kinds of implications, but attention usually focuses on the difficulties of recruitment or the financing of pension schemes.


Healthy workplaces campaign


Rather less attention has perhaps been given to the impact of an older workforce on health & safety at work, which is why EU-OSHA launched a 2 year campaign last year to raise awareness of this topic and has asked us to help get the message out to smaller businesses.  The campaign features events, a dedicated website, case studies and good practice awards.


The new online guide is just one of the practical tools produced as part of the campaign.  It is designed to be interactive and user-friendly, aiming to help businesses of all sizes assess and deal with risks to workers and meet the needs of their employees, whatever their ages.  The e-guide is structured around four themes:


  • ageing and work:  information about ageing and its implications for the workplace
  • healthy workplaces for all ages: introducing age management and the role of safety & health at work in managing an ageing workforce
  • health-promoting workplaces: workplace health promotion and its benefits
  • return to work: help in successfully managing workers' return-to-work after a health problem or injury.


It can be used by employers, workers, human resources managers or health & safety professionals and we’ve found that it includes lots of links to further information and sources of good practice.


Read the guide now 


The guide is available to read now.


You might also want to consider coming along to an event being organised by the EEN team in Bradford on 24th October 2017, where there will be inspirational case studies from the public & private sector about how they are going about coping with a multi-generational workforce.  You’ll find out more and be able to book a place via our Events pages.