Aging workers face the same workplace hazards as other workers, including severe injuries from falls, harmful exposures or transportation incidents. And as Americans live and work longer, the likelihood grows for work-related injuries.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health report, just under 10 percent of workplace fatalities were among workers aged 65 and older. Also, the fatality rate for older workers was nearly three times that of younger workers. Due to the apparent dangers in specific industries, it’s essential for employers to have safe practices for all their employees, despite their age.
Tips for a safer work environment
The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health recommends several accommodations for older employees. Some of the suggestions include:
- Flexibility – allow flexibility in schedules, location and tasks for most employees.
- Identify hazards early – find possible dangers before any injuries happen. Risks include loud noises, slipping dangers and others.
- Promote workplace wellness – preach healthy habits and practices for all employees. Make sure workers take breaks, drink plenty of water and do not overextend duties.
- Develop teams for large projects – groups will help employees divide work into manageable tasks and avoid unnecessary overextension.
- Provide a conducive work environment – employers should set up workstations, break area and shady spots for employees to recover from work or rest between tasks.
As the workforce ages, it’s vital to accommodate work practices for employees’ safety. Also, if you were injured while working, you should seek medical attention immediately and look into possible compensation for your medical bills.