Who has to be involved in promoting a sustainable working life?
The key is to involve everyone — employers, managers and workers — in working together to create a safe and healthy work environment for all.
Managers should allow workers to raise issues and encourage them to help find solutions. A good manager will inspire and motivate workers, understand their strengths and weaknesses, and encourage them to work towards shared goals. A supportive environment, where morale is high and older and younger workers within an enterprise cooperate and communicate well with each other, is vital.
By sharing their knowledge of the workplace with employers and managers, workers can help to identify problems and to find and implement solutions. Consulting workers — and thus creating a climate of trust and respect — is key to successfully managing risks.
Cooperation between human resources (HR) management and those responsible for occupational safety and health (OSH) is particularly important when it comes to meeting the challenges presented by ageing and a diverse workforce. HR policies — for example on work–life balance, working time, lifelong learning and career development — have a big impact on safety and health. It is crucial, then, that HR policies support OSH management for all age groups, taking into account the characteristics, needs and motivations of all employees.