Conference "Reducing the burden of chronic diseases in the workplace. New policies for better working conditions and the retention of ill people at work"
In light of the upcoming revision of existing EU legislation on health and safety at work, the conference aims to discuss the current situation of occupational safety and health policies at EU and national level and develop recommendations for their future development.
Every year, the health of millions of EU citizens is affected by inadequate working conditions. This not only impacts on the wellbeing of individuals and their families, but also places a significant financial strain on health care services and social security systems, while affecting the productivity of our economies.
Improving working conditions is therefore crucial for reducing the enormous burden of chronic diseases on individuals and societies. This is particularly important for major chronic conditions such as rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs). RMDs are the most burdensome occupational condition, representing 38% of all work-related illnesses. Hence, they are the main cause of absenteeism, work loss and early retirement in Europe.
Healthier workplaces and working practices would not only help to prevent a number of work-related conditions and slow down the progression of other health disorders. They would also facilitate people with RMDs and other chronic diseases to stay at work or to return to work after treatment.
In order to discuss these issues and develop recommendations on how to better prevent RMDs and other chronic conditions, while facilitating the retention of people with physical impairments at work, the conference will bring together policy makers and stakeholders from across Europe.
The Conference is part of EULAR's contribution to the "Healthier workplaces for all ages" campaign, organised by the EU Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).
The full-day conference will consist of a combination of plenary and workshop sessions. Speakers in the first sessions will provide an overview of the current situation on health and safety and the legislative and policy environment, from patients# and policy-makers’ perspectives. Following on in the morning, participants will divide into three workshops that focus on different aspects of the overall (prevention, access to occupational health professionals and therapists, and retention of people with chronic conditions and their return to work). The aim of the workshops is to identify the main issues and possible policy responses.
After a presentation of the results of the workshops, a panel debate with participants from the EU institutions and the social partners will discuss the preliminary results of the workshops and lead discussions on the way forward in the coming months.
To see the draft agenda, please click here.