The United States government recently estimated that by 2024, older workers will comprise one quarter of the labor market. The workforce is aging, and it has been recognized that if injuries can be prevented when workers are younger, they can work longer.
The aging process naturally leads to hearing impairment, worsening vision, decreased response time, more limited balance ability, and more. This can mean that a workplace injury can be more severe for an older worker than it would be to a younger worker, and it may even prove fatal. In fact, in 2015, 35 percent of fatal workplace accidents involved a worker that was 55 or older.
More and more, companies are taking steps to make the workplace safer for older workers. This is a smart move. In the healthcare field, for example, there has been a chronic shortage of professionals for the last 30 years or more. Being able to tap into older and therefore more experienced workers is beneficial to everyone.
There are many accommodations employers can take into consideration to make the workplace safer and more comfortable for older workers. These include:
Creating a work environment that encourages movement, rather than forcing workers to remain sedentary all day. Ideas include sit/stand work stations and onsite physical activity
Monitoring slip and trip and other safety hazards, and managing noise levels
Designing work stations, seating, flooring, and lighting that is ergonomically friendly
Using teams to perform functions that would put strain on a single individual
Promoting healthy lifestyles, with time away for healthcare visitsEven if your employer is safety-conscious and recognizes the needs of older workers, accidents can still happen. If you have been the victim of an injury on the job, call Jeffrey S. Gross, the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyer at 215-512-1500 or 267-589-0090, or complete our online form for a free consultation. Our office is conveniently located in Philadelphia.