Aged workers are always part of our organization, contributing at different level to ensure the progress of the organization.
In general terms, there has not been a fixed age to qualify the work aged. Some quarters has picked an aged worker to be anyone above 50 years while others believe it should be from 60 years.
We are not going to debate the age at which someone can be assumed to be aged, but we will be looking at the characteristics of aging and how it could affect job delivery with regards to Health and Safety.
Some of the things that could be seen in aged workers include:
- Marked decrease in intelligence, knowledge, and use of language after the age of 70.
- Decline in cognitive abilities such as working memory and reaction time.
- Decrease physical strength.
- Speed of learning tends to slow with age, but older workers can generally achieve a good standard in learning and performing new skills, given additional time and practice.
Though aged workers could experience the above characteristics, they can be compensated for their experience, better judgement and job knowledge.
“There is little conclusive evidence that older workers have an increased risk of occupational accidents than younger workers. However, while older workers are generally less likely than younger workers to have occupational accidents, accidents involving them are likely to result in more serious injuries, permanent disabilities or death, than for younger workers. Older workers may experience more slips, trips and falls than younger workers, and recovery following an injury may take longer“.
Putting the strength and weakness of aged workers side by side, you will see that they are still invaluable in any organization, but you need to ensure their safety.
To ensure the safety of aged workers, all that is needed is for the organization to always recognize their presence and consider them during decision taking.
These decisions will include administratively placing them on role which will not require too much physical exertion, nor expose them to hazards unnecessarily.
The Health and Safety executive rates aged workers as vulnerable workers; meaning, they need extra care.
See more about how to keep aged workers safe here