This is a summary of the key discussions from the 2014 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, conducted in Frankfurt, Germany.
A primary focus of the congress was the challenges facing the safety profession into the future. And how to adapt to these challenges we need to stop focusing on a risk management approach to everything and look at an integrated societal and cultural focus on health and wellbeing, as well.
These challenges identified as facing us in the future revolved around; the growing global economy, technology changing the speed and type of work, and most importantly the struggle to keep a focus on safety when there is a lack of social focus.
Some of the suggested ways to address many of these concerns are;
- 1. Promoting healthy work and not the lack of injury as the core for safety. There is an overall decrease in injuries at work globally, but there is a steady increase in chronic illnesses both from physical disease and mental health related issues.
- 2. Total Worker Health: Identifying the link between individual and work factors that could increase a person’s risk of injury.
- 3. Engaging the local community when developing safety initiatives to ensure staff are healthy at home and at work, and promoting safety in the younger generation prior to entering the workforce.
- 4. Ensuring we help people continue to work actively by having return to work programs that identify the times for intervention and not just rehabilitation after an event