1:46 am December 5, 2019

Injury Prevention for an Aging Workforce

Source: Brandon Johnson

Prevention and productivity is a mantra most businesses tout, but it is particularly true for older workers. Beginning in the New Year, it is projected that one out of every four employees will be age 55 or older. Not only is the workforce aging, they are opting to work past traditional retirement age. As such, it is crucial for businesses to adapt to and accommodate the needs of an older workforce.

Age Advantages
Older workers offer multiple benefits to organizations- expertise, loyalty and experience to name a few. In addition, older workers often possess institutional memory or corporate memory, the collective set of experiences, lessons learned and best practices accumulated over time that works for the benefit of all. Older workers can often keep institutions from making the same costly mistakes again.

One Size Does Not Fit All
It’s important to protect these valuable team members with an employee experience that matches what they need to stay happy and healthy. Aging employees are at a higher risk for serious injury, and unfortunately, those injuries are typically more severe and take longer to recover from.  A “one size fits all” does not apply to an older workforce.

Older workers can be expected to experience some physical and cognitive changes which may affect productivity and could contribute to injury:

  • Vision problems
  • Balance issues
  • Hearing loss
  • Memory loss
  • Slow response time
  • Limited range of motion
  • Fatigue

Adjust for Age
To help maximize performance and prevent injury, there are several solutions that will add value and long-term productivity:

  • Early intervention to combat soreness before it escalates to injury
  • Improve ergonomics to avoid fatigue
  • Consider job rotation and cross-training
  • Proper workspaces and equipment to match physical needs of workers
  • Provide re-training on proper techniques

Everyone benefits when workers are able to perform their jobs well. If a few special considerations are necessary to accommodate aging workers, the payoff to ensure they stay injury-free and maintain productivity is in everyone’s best interest. WorkWell can help protect these important team members. Contact us today.

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