Promotion of sustainable employability: occupational health in the meat processing industry

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    Due to rising retirement age, sustainable employability is gaining interest among employers. Such is the case in the meat processing industry. A strategy to address these challenges is health promotion at work. Therefore, the largest Dutch meat processing company has implemented a Workers’ Health Surveillance (WHS) program aimed at promotion of sustainable employability. By means of questionnaires, and physical and functional tests, insight was gained into workers’ current health and employability, and into future risks. However, it was unknown whether this approach, in combination with interventions, was effective. The WHS program was implemented at 4 company locations from 2012 until 2015 and 305 workers participated. A process evaluation was performed to examine participant satisfaction and the implementation process of the WHS program. This evaluation showed that workers were satisfied with the program and felt that it contributed to their health and employability. Implementation could be improved on some aspects, in particular concerning registration, follow-up and deployment of interventions. WHS program effectiveness was evaluated using sickness absence, work ability, and productivity as main outcomes. No significant improvements were identified. The financial evaluation did not show monetary benefits. Based on the present results it can be concluded that the WHS program did not improve sickness absence, work ability, and productivity on the short term. To evaluate long term effects it is recommended to perform similar future research over a longer time period.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Awarding Institution
    • University of Groningen
    • Reneman, Michiel, Supervisor
    • Brouwer, Sandra, Supervisor
    • Soer, Remko, Co-supervisor
    • de Boer, Michiel, Co-supervisor
    Award date13-Apr-2016
    Place of Publication[Groningen]
    Print ISBNs978-90-367-8718-5
    Electronic ISBNs978-90-367-8717-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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