The workforce is getting older. Across the country, many companies now employ hundreds of people nearing the age of retirement, thanks in part to the large portion of baby boomers putting off their golden years for a steady paycheck.
This older demographic remains one of the most positive elements of the labor force. They provide increasing value, in-depth knowledge and expertise and high productivity. As a result, it is easy to see why they are so desired by employers. However, with age comes an increased risk of injury or illness, especially on the job. It is vital that employers find ways to protect older employees, while keeping workers' compensation insurance costs down at the same time.
New resource will help with healthy aging
As employees grow older, it is important that their employers take the necessary measures to assist during the transition. In order to facilitate that process, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recently released a new online resource on the common issues related to workplace safety and chronic diseases.
NIOSH's new topic page is designed to assist workers and employers with healthy aging. This tool will provide users recommendations for growing older in the workplace, solutions for an age-friendly environment in addition to industry research. Soon, the resource will include more information, including specific health risks.
According to NIOSH, older workers are some of the most valuable in a company. These professionals often have lower stress levels, act more cautiously on the job, follow safety rules better and have a lot of experience. Even so, older employees are more prone to health problems, and chronic diseases can place them at greater risk for accidents while working.
Older employees face many risks
According to the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, older employees often encounter a number of dangerous risks while on the job. Therefore, it is up to everyone in the company to identify these hazards, institute an effective risk management plan and perform other preventative measures.
For example, Ohio BWC explained that falls, lighting and back pain are some of the most common afflictions facing older workers. As people age, they may be more likely to have loss of balance or a lack of mobility. If this is the case, a scenario where younger workers would be safe may now become dangerous. With that in mind, all stairways and walkways must have the appropriate guardrails, floors have to be in good condition, and adequate lighting must be present throughout the entire work site.