Our working lives are extending and our retirement ages are rising. This ageing workforce is a valuable resource, bringing a vast range of experience and life skills to companies. As such we should ensure that our workplaces are healthy and safe for all.
Healthy and safe working conditions benefits the worker, the business and society as a whole. There are demonstrable and positive benefits for both the individuals’ physical and mental health. Which is why all employers should implement an effective health & safety management approach.
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The amount of older people in the workplace is increasing…
- An estimated third of workers in developed countries will be over the age of 60 by 2050.
- By 2030, it’s estimated that 30% of the total European workforce will be over the age of 55.
- [1/2] The Office for National Statistics estimate 13.5 million job vacancies between 2012 and 2022.
- [2/2] The UK will only have approximately 7 million school and college leavers, making older workers key to continued operational capabilities
…Which isn’t a bad thing…
- Working has a positive impact on both the physical and mental health of an individual.
- Many developed countries have increased or eliminated any mandatory retirement age.
- The Health & Safety Laboratory concluded that older workers knowledge, skills and experience will compensate for any reduction in speed, improving quality and accuracy.
…However, precautions still need to be taken.
- Older workers tend to have a higher chronic illness rate—positive workplace health measures such as the early introduction of occupational health are vital.
- Nearly 40% of fatal injuries in 2017/18 were to workers aged 60 and over.
- When an accident involving an older worker does happen, they are more likely to suffer serious or fatal injuries as a result.
For more information relating to the health & safety of an ageing workforce, you can refer to the Department for Works and Pensions’ research reports to assist businesses:
- Employer experiences of recruiting, retaining and retraining older workers
- Sector-based work academies and work experience trials for older claimants
- Business Advice
- Contracts & Documentation
- Culture & Performance
- Disciplinary & Grievances
- Dismissals & Conduct
- Employee Conduct
- Employment Law
- End of Contract
- Equality & Discrimination
- Health & Safety
- Hiring & Managing
- Leave & Absence
- Managing Health & Safety
- Occupational Health
- Pay & Benefits
- Risk & Welfare