September 25th to the 29th is National Employ Older Workers Week! The U.S. workforce is aging. The share of the labor force made up of people 55 years and older has increased from 12 percent in 1994 to 22 percent in 2014, and it is projected to reach approximately 25 percent in 20241.The aging of the U.S. workforce and the increasing age diversity among workers requires us to consider the health and safety implications related to aging and work. During National Employ Older Workers Week next week NIOSH will present a webinar, “Interventions and Promising Practices in the Aging Workplace” on Thursday, September 28, 2017 from 1:00-2:30 PM EST. The webinar, sponsored by the NIOSH National Center for Productive Aging and Work (NCPAW) the NIOSH Office for Total Worker Health®, presents an overview of interventions and promising practices for addressing the challenges and opportunities posed by an aging workforce. Register here.
Featured Speakers Include:
Donald Truxillo, PhD, a Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at Portland State University.
Alyssa McGonagle, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Industrial/Organizational Psychology at University of North Carolina Charlotte.
Ruth Finkelstein, ScD, an Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management and Assistant Director in the Robert N. Butler Aging Center at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
The process of aging influences the safety and well-being of workers in both positive and negative ways. Age can be positively related to safety performance and organizational citizenship behavior, such as effective teamwork and conflict resolution.2 Also, older workers tend to experience lower rates of non-fatal work-related illness and injury compared to younger workers; however, fatality rates are higher for older workers compared to younger workers.3
Meeting the needs of aging workers requires the translation of key research into useful tools and resources, and the advancement of best practices and interventions that protect workers throughout their working life.
The National Center for Productive Aging and Work’s (NCPAW) productive aging approach suggests an integrated and comprehensive framework is needed to encourage best practices and interventions that positively impact the safety and health of workers as they age. Such programs and policies could be helpful to organizations in designing jobs that meet workers’ needs across their working lifespan. Visit the NCPAW safety and health outcomes page for more information on strategies for preparing your workplace for a healthier, safer, and more age-friendly workforce
Join us at the webinar and also please share strategies from your workplace that have benefited aging workers in the comment section below.
- Toossi, M. (2015, December). Labor force projections to 2024: The labor force is growing, but slowly. Monthly Labor Review, pp. 1-32.
- Ng, T. W. H., & Feldman, D. C. (2010b). The relationships of age with job attitudes: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology, 63, 677-718.
- Silverstein, M. (2008). Meeting the challenges of an aging workforce. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 269-280.