Older Worker Safety

July 23, 2013 Dave Weber No Comments


From the first day of new hire training until the day they retire, all workers will experience changes due to the normal aging process. It is an unfortunate fact of life that many age-related changes result in diminished physical, sensory, or cognitive capabilities.

Aging workers may not necessarily have a higher injury risk overall; however, the effects of a musculoskeletal injury (MSI) on older workers may be more extreme.   Data shows that not only does the percentage of MSIs increase when workers are over age 30, but so does the number of days lost per injury.

Protecting the safety and health of aging workers requires matching the demands of the job to worker capabilities. This means reducing or eliminating risk factors for injuries, such as heavy lifting, awkward postures, static postures, repetitive movements, and/or vibration exposures. In other cases, it may mean improving visibility or streamlining processes. Designing jobs to accommodate the changing capabilities of older workers will not only reduce injury risk for older workers, it will have the added benefit of protecting younger employees as well.

Below are a few links to other free older worker safety and health resources:



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