The European Good Practice Awards Ceremony will take place on 25-26 April, organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) as part of the 2016-17 Healthy Workplaces Campaign.

The Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards ceremony in the Maltese capital of Valetta will celebrate leading European examples of managing safety and health at work in the context of an ageing workforce in the workplace. Both Kildare County Council and Astellas Pharma Ireland were the national winners for Ireland, but unfortunately did not make it through to the final stage in Malta in April.

marina-in-valettas-old-townAs current holders of the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Malta is hosting the event as part of a bigger conference devoted to occupational safety and health.

The Good Practice Awards is a European-wide competition aimed at encouraging best practice in relation to workplace safety and health.

The theme for this year’s awards ‘Healthy Workplaces for All Ages’ campaign is focused on proactively managing the safety and health of an aging workforce, and is co-ordinated by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work in association with the EU member states.

eu-ageing-workforceEurope’s workforce is ageing; by 2030, workers aged 55–64 are expected to make up 30% or more of the total workforce in many countries.

The “Healthy Workplaces for All Ages” campaign aims to help workers, managers and employers recognise and manage the challenges of an ageing workforce.

Entries to the competition were required to demonstrate that their workplace undertakes specific activities in relation to an aging workforce such as:

  • How age diversity is considered in safety and health management;
  • Age appropriate risk assessments;
  • The development and implementation of interventions and practical tools for managing an ageing workforce;
  • Disability prevention and return to work policies; or
  • Specific measures targeting older workers and risks specific to older workers.

In a recent report on Population and Labour Force Projections (2016-2046), the Central Statistics Office (CSO) notes an increase in labour force participation rates for older males, particularly for those aged 60 and over, reflecting a greater propensity to remain in the labour force among older people.

According to the CSO, those aged 65 years and over is projected to increase very significantly from its 2011 level of 532,000 to between 850,000 and 860,700 by 2026, and to close to 1.4 million by 2046.