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Safety Focus May 2015

Safety Challenges with an Aging Workforce

With Americans living longer, they are also working longer, making older workers an invaluable part of any company. They bring wisdom, knowledge, and experience to many aspects of business. They can become mentors for younger and less experienced workers. But there are certain changes that occur to both the body and mind of every individual as they age, which can affect safety in the workplace  if an employer is unaware of them and does not take steps to keep aging workers safe.

The first members of the “baby boomer” generation have entered their sixth decade and comprise a significant portion of the U.S. labor force today. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost a quarter of all 65- to 74-year-olds are active in the workforce, representing the highest percentage of workers in this age group since 1970. As older adults continue to work or return to work after retirement, organizations and safety professionals must address this population’s needs.