You may have noticed that people are working later in life. In demographic terms, about 10,000 baby boomers in the United States will turn 65 every day until about the year 2025, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
“Older workers represent a never-before-seen opportunity for employers,” said Mark Schmit, executive director of the Society of Human Resource Managers. “In this knowledge economy the retention of older workers gives employers a competitive edge by allowing them to continue to tap a generation of knowledge and skill.” This knowledge and skill can be shared and passed to younger workers. These mature workers have also experienced some physical changes that can be easily addressed. Items such as:
- Providing step ladders with handrails to assist with balance. When stocking shelves they can feel safer by having the ability to grasp with one hand while working merchandise.
- Slow overexertion by reducing over-reaching to a minimum, having their workspace tools easier to access without excessive reaching.
- Computer workstations can have screen settings adjusted for dark text on light background, increasing settings for larger text in programs. Even internet browsers have a ‘zoom’ feature that is easy to adjust.
- Raising lighting levels in stairwells, especially at the base and top of stairs. Marking stair noses in white or yellow for better visibility is a great help.
These ideas will also benefit all workers no matter what their age. RS Safety has a large section of information on this topic that can be found here.
WR employs Rick Means as Director of Safety and Education who assists members in drawing up safety plans and identifying topics for regular safety meetings. Contact Rick at 360-200-6454 or at [email protected].