The U.S. population is aging, which means that the U.S. workforce is also growing older. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of workers aged 65 or older has grown by 117% in a span of 20 years, while employment of individuals 75 years or older has likewise increased by 117%.

This influx of workers aged 65 or older accompanies a shift in the type of work schedule most commonly used. Particularly in the past 15 years, there has been a consistent increase in the percentage of older workers employed in full time, rather than part-time jobs.

Frequency v. severity

What are the implications of this trend for occupational safety professionals? There's a good news / bad news answer.

The older the worker, the less likelihood of being injured, however, those injuries that do occur are more likely to be fatal for those who are older, and the frequency jumps most dramatically around age 60.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) will help OSH professionals address the challenges of an aging workforce  with a free webinar on Sept. 28 from 1 – 2:30 p.m. EDT.

Older Workers Week

Interventions and Promising Practices in the Aging Workplace is being co-hosted by the agency’s National Center for Productive Aging and Work and its Office for Total Worker Health®, as part of the Productive Aging and Work webinar series and in observance of National Employ Older Workers Week.

In this webinar, presenters will provide an overview of interventions and promising practices for addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging workforce. Continuing education credits are pending.

Register here.

Click here to read "Workplace Accident Death Rate Higher for Older Workers" in the Seattle Times, for which Jim Grosch, co-director of the NIOSH National Center for Productive Aging and Work, provided input.