Addressing Aging Workforce Issues
Globally, the workforce is getting older. In 2015, 8.5 percent of the world’s population, or 617 million people, were aged 65 or over. By 2050, this population is expected to increase to 16.7 percent, or 1.6 billion people. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in every five American workers is over the age of 65, and by 2020, one in four American workers will be over the age of 55.
An understanding of the older worker is required to develop strategies and countermeasures to optimize his performance and contributions in both the office and industrial work environments.
From an ergonomics perspective, there are two issues that industrial hygienists should be concerned with regarding the older worker: reduced physical capabilities and declining health. Physiological changes as we age include reduced visual perception, sensory perception, motor control, muscular strength, information processing, memory, and cardiovascular capability. Health concerns for the older worker include chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes.
A common challenge most companies face when designing (or redesigning) for the older workers is providing the right solutions to assist them in the workplace. During this session, participants will learn the key physiological changes and health concerns of the older worker, and how to meet his needs in an ever-changing, modern workplace.