By 2030 workers aged over 55 are expected to make up 30% or more of the total workforce in many EU countries*. This creates challenges for employees, employers and businesses.
This is mainly because employees are not only working longer because they can, but also longer because they have to. Retirement savings aren’t in-line with inflation which is both good and a challenge for employers.
On the one hand, older employees bring experience, loyalty, stability and reliability to the office, particularly in times of uncertainty which can be invaluable.
But these same employees also require a different kind of approach to not only keep them productive and valuable while working, but also to ensure they remain safe. A common issue faced by an ageing population is back pain and in more serious instances – musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
MSDs are injuries or pain in the human musculoskeletal system, including the joints, ligaments, muscles, nerves, tendons, and structures that support limbs, neck and back. More often than not a person who works in a manual handling role is more likely to develop a back issue and subsequently an MSD than someone who doesn’t (although not always the case).
This is where Napo films comes in. Back in 1992 in response to the need for high quality information surrounding health and safety, a small group of OSH communications professionals conceived of the idea which later emerged in the European Year of Safety and Health 1992/3, and European Film Festivals organised by the European Commission.
Napo films highlight the key ingredients for sustainable working lives by providing stories which depict the necessity of managing risks from the first to the last day of work; the importance of rehabilitation and return-to-work policies and of tackling age discrimination whenever it appears.
Napo has also become a promoter of an integrated management approach to tackling MSDs and adopting a holistic approach to managing the risk, including personal as well as organisational sustainability.
‘Back’ to a healthy future with Napo is a short film designed to illustrate how to prevent MSDs, by identifying risks and how to develop practical solutions which can be applied across the life course from introducing OSH to primary school children to encouraging intergenerational working.
Whilst the Napo films are not designed to provide comprehensive coverage of a topic, nor should they be seen as training or teaching films, they provide ‘Safety with a smile’, helping to contribute to safer, healthier and better workplaces.
Through-out October RoSPA will be promoting Napo as part of its #OSHtober campaign with a ‘back’ to basics overview to help raise awareness of the dangers associated with moving and handling, covering best practice, legal compliance and improved health.
We’re also giving away a free ‘Supporters pack’ which includes a wealth of free content. Not only that, when you sign up to our ‘Supporters pack’ you’ll be entered into our prize draw for a either a free Manual Handling Trainers or Safer People Handling Trainers or Display Screen Equipment course, worth up to £1000.* To enter this competition all you have to do is complete the online questionnaire here.
Please get involved in sharing your experiences by using the hashtag #OSHtober. For more information on Napo, you can visit the website here.
*Health and Safety Authority – New Campaign Focuses on Europe’s Ageing Workforce
Published 24 October 2018.
*See website for terms and conditions