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WU earns occupational health certification

24/03/2020

WU employs over 2,000 people. The health of our employees and a positive working environment have top priority for us.

With over 22,000 students, WU is not only one of Europe’s largest business and economics universities, but it is also a major employer with more than 2,000 employees. Only this past January, WU was re-certified by the hochschuleundfamilie audit in recognition of the many steps it is taking to be a family-friendly university. Now WU has also earned a new certification for its occupational health management.

In 2017, WU launched the Well-Being@WU project, aiming to create a culture of health awareness and to improve overall workplace quality. It is in large part thanks to this project that WU has now been awarded an occupational health certification from Österreichisches Netzwerk BGF, the Austrian network for promoting occupational health. This certification is awarded on a 3-year basis, and it focuses on factors such as corporate culture, the scope of the targets set, and the extent to which the targets are met.

WU keeps support services up during coronavirus situation

WU has been implementing a wide range of measures as part of the Well-Being@WU project. The university has for example established a structured occupational reintegration program for employees who return to work after extended sick leave periods. WU has stocked vending machines with healthy snacks, introduced monthly health newsletters with recommendations for a healthy diet and exercise that are posted in office areas on a monthly basis, and also offers a wide range of workshops and advisory services. WU has also put up a dedicated intranet page with comprehensive information on health-related matters. Due to the measures taken to curb the spread of the coronavirus, most WU employees are currently teleworking. All teaching activities have been switched to distance-learning formats, with faculty members exploring alternative teaching methods. WU Rector Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger points out, “We are aware that these measures may lead to difficulties and stressful situations for our employees. For this reason, we are keeping our counselling services for employees in particularly stressful situations available during the current situation. Of course, the counselling sessions are now being held online and not face-to-face. As part of our occupational health management system, we will also develop additional services to support our employees the best we can during these challenging times.”

About the occupational health certification

The occupational health certification was launched in 2004 by Österreichisches Netzwerk BGF, and it is awarded free of charge. Österreichisches Netzwerk BGF specifically developed a three-tier system (charter, certification, award) to establish a transparent framework in which occupational health initiatives can be assessed and evaluated for sustainability and effectiveness. According to figures from Österreichisches Netzwerk BGF, the certification was awarded to a total of 1,307 companies and organizations across Austria in the period from 2004 to 2019, which means that healthier working conditions were created for a total of 528,263 employees.

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