Sustainable working

Sustainable work means achieving safe and healthy working conditions that enable people to stay in and engage in work.
In the last 30 years, population demographics have changed and people are living longer. Simultaneously, the number of people of working age has reduced but the number of people who have retired has increased, putting pressure on pension budgets.

A number of national policies have also changed, resulting in retirement and pension ages being increased to encourage people to work longer and reduce the level of skill and experience leaving the workforce. While many people can continue to work without problems, features of the workplace itself and the practicalities of getting to and from work can become problematic. The loss of default retirement ages (apart from some sectors) has made understanding age-related change essential, as well as understanding the health and capabilities that people bring to work.

While the number of older workers has increased, taking a life-course approach there is still a need to protect workers of all ages. As an example, musculoskeletal problems are often cumulative, so prevention needs to happen from entry into the workplace. While older workers may be at reduced risk of an accident through work experience, fatalities data tells us they are more at risk of a fatal accident.

In developing sustainable work, we need to understand who is in our future workforce, and what their motivations and skills are. While older workers may be more at risk of ill health, understanding which workplace changes can support them to either stay in or return to work is essential.

Our research has considered the impact of work on age, as well as providing a better understanding of the need for rehabilitation and return to work processes. Working across different disciplines our research has highlighted the need for a multidisciplinary approach to manage age, workability, employability, and rehabilitation and return to work.

We are leaders in this area because we have worked on a number of research and consultancy projects with other collaborators and disciplines to take a holistic view of the issues around ageing and work, and this experience enables us to give authoritative advice and guidance.

Key projects

Protecting worker is in our DNA. While the number of older workers has increased, there is still a need to protect workers of all ages taking a life course approach. As an example, musculoskeletal problems are often cumulative, so prevention needs to happen from entry to the workplace. Older workers may be more at risk of ill health, understanding which workplace changes can support them to both stay in and return to work is essential. Understanding who is in our future workforce, what are their motivations and skills and develop well-timed sustainable work methods accordingly.
  • IOMworld Posted: 2 days ago
    IOM established the inhalable fraction, a ratio that determines how much dust can be inhaled into the respiratory t… https://t.co/zN1pzkYExM
  • IOMworld Posted: 2 days ago
    We'll be putting out a film of the @gsc1 installation, but in the meantime get down and celebrate the biggest… https://t.co/ZwyS3wtWAI
  • IOMworld Posted: 6 days ago
    Recent research found that UK adults are getting on average just 6.4 hours sleep a night, which falls well short of… https://t.co/gkWAOvHBS5
  • IOMworld Posted: 9 days ago
    IOM has once again been recognised as a Collaborating Centre for Occupational Health by the World Health Organisati… https://t.co/57sZrdihhf
  • IOMworld Posted: 16 days ago
    This week, Public Health England released the results from their annual survey of Smoking Habits in the United King… https://t.co/fBuCUoiNgs
  • IOMworld Posted: 18 days ago
    Wow!! Sometimes the beauty of #nature overtakes the need for an increased character count on Twitter!… https://t.co/88S6VAt6q6
  • IOMworld Posted: 19 days ago
    The OEESC conference is being held at The Pillo Hotel, Dublin, Ireland on 16-18 September 2019. Don't forget to ge… https://t.co/29Fb5Byace
  • IOMworld Posted: 23 days ago
    For 50 years we've worked to improve the lives of people around the world through scientific research. This year we… https://t.co/B8A0ILSdDC
  • Contact Us

If you would like to contact us, please use the attached form and we will get back to you. Alternatively, call or write to us at our Head Office in Edinburgh or one of our regional offices.

Our office hours are: 

Monday to Friday - 8.00am to 5.15pm

Our head office numbers is +44 (0)131 449 8000

Email: info@iom-world.org