Changes in social, economic and political structures have changed the nature of work and working conditions. The effects on workers, in particular those who are vulnerable have been wide-ranging and complex. The link between working conditions and the vulnerability of sensitive risk groups cannot be underestimated. Sustainable employment conditions can only be created if adequate levels of prevention and protection are ensured for all workers, including those who are vulnerable through the promulgation of specific policies, strategies and programmes which address the challenges experienced by such groups.

The need to protect sensitive risk groups is laid down in Article 15 of Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the health and safety of workers at work, which provides that particularly sensitive risk groups must be protected against the dangers which specifically affect them. Such a generic provision was further expanded through the enactment of specific Directives addressing a multitude of aspects addressing the health and safety of vulnerable workers. To further raise awareness about the need to ensure that vulnerable groups are provided with the necessary protection, the Occupational Health and Safety Authority (OHSA-MT) will be organising an OHS Tripartite Conference which will address the challenges and risks faced by vulnerable workers. 

Themed “Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups” the conference which will be held on the 26th and 27th April 2017, will also include the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) Healthy Workplaces Good Practice Awards Ceremony. The Healthy Workplaces Campaign 2016-2017 addressed the concept of ageing workforce. 

The conference will bring together leading researchers and practitioners to exchange and share example of good practice on the protection of vulnerable workers. It will also provide an interdisciplinary platform for participants to present and discuss recent findings, concerns, practical challenges and solutions adopted at the place of work. The aim of the conference is to promote and raise awareness on the importance of specific preventive and protective measures at the place of work. 






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