These were the words from LO?s President, Lizette Risgaard, as she opened the conference entitled ?more good years on the labour market?.

It is important to LO-Denmark to re-establish a broad political understanding that retirement reforms and raising of the retirement age are inextricably linked with preventive health and safety-efforts.

Every fifth worker takes pain medicine regularly                 

LO recognises the need to find solutions to the problem that there are still fewer workers engaged in active employment to provide for an increasing number of elderly who are not economically-active.

However, for a large group of workers on the labour market, their jobs are so strenuous that it has major implications on their health.

In a recent survey, more than half of the LO-movement?s members say that they experience pain when performing their jobs and every fifth LO-member has to take pain medicine at least once a week in order to be able to go to work.

– I am simply shocked at these figures.

– They clearly show that this is an everyday problem for ordinary people out there and that politicians have turned a blind eye to them.

– As the pensionable age has been continuously raised, politicians have entirely forgotten the health and safety efforts that are so crucial to avoiding attrition in workers, says Lizette Risgaard.

End to cost-cutting                       

When, in 2006, the Danish Parliament agreed to regulate the retirement age in the so-called welfare deal, it was with the intention that it was preconditioned by necessary massive investments into health and safety at work.

However, since then, the health and safety efforts have only been reduced while the pensionable age has been continuously raised.

– We need to invest extensively in our health and safety at work and we need a stop to the cuts to the National Working Environment Authority.

Until we have improved our ability to prevent attrition, it makes no sense at all to even consider raising the pensionable age, Lizette Risgaard concludes.