Meeting the challenges of an aging workforce

Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences, University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Seattle, Washington
American Journal of Industrial Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.74). 04/2008; 51(4):269 - 280. DOI: 10.1002/ajim.20569
Source: PubMed


Demographic, labor market and economic forces are combining to produce increases in the number and percentage of U.S. workers 55 and older. In some ways these workers will be our most skilled and productive employees but in others the most vulnerable.Methods
The literature on aging and work was reviewed, including demographic trends, physical and cognitive changes, safety and performance, work ability, and retirement patterns.Results and Conclusions
Older workers have more serious, but less frequent, workplace injuries and illnesses than younger ones. There is evidence that many of these problems can be prevented and their consequences reduced by anticipating the physical and cognitive changes of age. Many employers are aware that such efforts are necessary, but most have not yet addressed them. There is a need for implementation and evaluative research of programs and policies with four dimensions: the work environment, work arrangements and work-life balance, health promotion and disease prevention, and social support. Employers who establish age-friendly workplaces that promote and support the work ability of employees as they age may gain in safety, productivity, competitiveness, and sustainable business practices. Am. J. Ind. Med. 51:269–280, 2008. © 2008 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Full-text preview

Available from:
    • "Center for Construction Research and Training (CPWR), Silver Spring, Maryland 2 GeorgeWashington University Milken Institute School of Public Health,Washington DCillness and also to facilitate working with impairment. Protecting the health of older workers is especially relevant now because as these workers retire shortages of qualified and skilled workers are expected[Silverstein, 2008;Schwatka et al., 2012]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background: Causes of permanent work disability in the sheet metal industry are not well characterized. Methods: Pension records were used to compare causes of disability among sheet metal workers and the U.S. working population. Subgroup analysis examined the major causes of sheet metal worker disability. Results: Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), circulatory disease, and injuries were leading causes of sheet metal worker disability (47.2%, 13.7%, 10.9% of awards, respectively). Award distribution differed from the U.S. working population (P < 0.0001); MSDs and injuries accounted for higher proportions of sheet metal worker awards, particularly at spine, shoulder, and knee. Conclusions: Higher proportions of awards caused by MSD or injury among sheet metal workers may reflect higher rates of work-related injuries and MSDs, a high likelihood of disability with construction work given the same impairment, or higher prevalence of other conditions in the general population. Prevention requires task-specific ergonomic innovations and proven participatory interventions. Am. J. Ind. Med. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2016 · American Journal of Industrial Medicine
  • Source
    • "Together with longterm health problems and chronic diseases, prevalence of work-limiting disabilities increases with age [2]: it has been estimated that 72% of all-causes Disability-Adjusted Life Years occur in subjects under 60 years old and more than three-quarters of old workers have at least one chronic health condition that requires management [3] [4]. In addition, the majority of workers with chronic illnesses continue to work and have to deal with several workplace risk factors [5] [6]. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Background. Although the prevalence of work-limiting diseases is increasing, the interplay between occupational exposures and chronic medical conditions remains largely uncharacterized. Research has shown the detrimental effects of workplace bullying but very little is known about the humanistic and productivity cost in victims with chronic illnesses. We sought to assess work productivity losses and health disutility associated with bullying among subjects with chronic medical conditions. Methods. Participants () with chronic diseases answered a self-administered survey including sociodemographic and clinical data, workplace bullying experience, the SF-12 questionnaire, and the Work Productivity Activity Impairment questionnaire. Results. The prevalence of significant impairment was higher among victims of workplace bullying as compared to nonvictims (SF-12 PCS: 55.5% versus 67.9%, ; SF-12 MCS: 59.4% versus 74.3%, ). The adjusted marginal overall productivity cost of workplace bullying ranged from 13.9% to 17.4%, corresponding to Italian Purchase Power Parity (PPP) 2010 US$ 4182–5236 yearly. Association estimates were independent and not moderated by concurrent medical conditions. Conclusions. Our findings demonstrate that the burden on workers’ quality of life and productivity associated with workplace bullying is substantial. This study provides key data to inform policy-making and prioritize occupational health interventions.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · BioMed Research International
  • Source
    • "Sukces wymaga chęci i umiejętności pracodawców do zagospodarowania potencjału starszych pracowników. Z dostępnych badań wynika , że starszy wiek jest uznawany za okres mniejszej wydajności, co może mieć najważniejsze znaczenie dla działań pracodawców wobec starszych pracowników lub kandydatów do pracy (Silverstein 2008). Negatywne opinie pracodawców mają wpływ na sytuację pracowników. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Pracodawcy odgrywają podstawową rolę w definiowaniu warunków kontynuowania lub opuszczenia pracy w wieku emerytalnym. W artykule został zaprezentowany zarys teoretyczny relacji pomiędzy pracodawcą i pracownikiem. Wiek pracownika ma znaczenie: chociaż nie determinuje on tej relacji, to jest jednym ze wskaźników dla oceny dopasowania i określania oczekiwanej wartości pracownika. Analizie zostały poddane uwarunkowania preferencji wiekowych polskich pracodawców wobec pracowników. Zaprezentowano je w formie zestawu modeli regresji logistycznych dla akceptacji kandydatów w wieku od 20 do 65 lat. Dane pochodzą z największych polskich badań pracodawców Bilans Kapitału Ludzkiego 2010–2013. Wyniki wskazują na powszechne występowania typizacji wiekowej w procesie rekrutacji. Wśród uwarunkowań preferencji wiekowych istotna była między innymi strategia inwestycji w nowego pracownika, zawód, do jakiego poszukiwany był kandydat, wymagania wobec doświadczenia, wykształcenia i kompetencji kandydata. Wyniki wskazują także na związek typizacji wiekowej z typizacją płciową.,5,studia-socjologiczne-2-2015.html
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2015 · Studia Socjologiczne
Show more