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Managing Safety in an Aging Workforce

n 2017, nearly 45% of all employees were age 45 or older.[1] This number indicates that employers need to manage and maintain the safety of their mature employees in a diligent and effective manner. Despite older workers having a lower injury rate, their work-related injuries tend to be more serious than those incurred by their younger co-workers. Safety concerns could include:

  • Short-term memory
  • Slower reaction time
  • Declining vision and/or hearing
  • Declining balance

The most important aspect of any work environment is safety. Here are a few ways to help keep your mature employees safe in the workplace.

Routine Facility Maintenance

Regularly check that machinery is properly secured and guarded, and ensure repairs or parts replacement on office equipment is made in a timely manner. Makeshift repairs or temporary fixes could result in injuries, especially for aging employees.

Ergonomic Assessment

A job safety and ergonomic assessment can identify potential improvements to an employee’s workstation and environment. An audit of the employee’s environment can allow management to remove hazards and help determine the safest way for the employee to perform their job.

Prioritize Safety

Because slip and fall accidents and injuries are one of the major causes of aging employee injuries, prioritizing slip and fall prevention is incredibly important. Instead of putting off improvements, reprioritize your budget or annual plan to make necessary adjustments sooner than later.

Sponsored Exercise Programs

Encourage employees to participate in an exercise program. Lead the charge in a ‘Wellness Wednesday Walk’ around your building or campus, or sponsor a weekly exercise group. Regular exercise could reduce the risk of an on-the-job injury.

Harbor America supports employers’ efforts to control and reduce risk. Learn more about our Safety and Risk Management solutions.


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