We all know that age brings experience, wisdom and, perhaps, less of an addiction to social media. But, if your older staff aren’t cared for properly, your productivity WILL plummet.
HOW IT IS
People want to work past the age of retirement.
4 reasons why:
- Increase in health and longevity. 62% of over 50s describe themselves as feeling as fit as ever.
- The generation after the Baby Boomers is so small that there are not enough people to take over the jobs if the baby boomers chose to retire.
- Work has become a second home for many people. Not only would the social side be missed but the enjoyment of feeling productive can’t be beaten.
- Poor planning. The lack of a proper pension plan forces a lot of people over 65 to continue working simply because they haven’t enough money to live off for the rest of their lives.
Although older people generally take fewer risks, the BLS statistics show that workers aged 16-18 years old average 4 days off for an injury while workers 65+ took on average 17 days to recover.
In any workplace, there are risks that can affect your workers, both ergonomic and individual risk factors.
The ergonomic risk factors are force, repetition and posture. The individual risk factors include poor work practices, poor fitness and poor health habits. Of course, I am not suggesting you count your staffs’ calories but if these factors are not considered carefully and acted upon, your absenteeism is very likely to increase.
There are many suggested solutions to creating a better workplace for ageing employees such as workout Wednesdays and rotating roles, but the simplest solution is to provide the correct safety footwear, clothing and personal protective equipment.
- Work boots:
Loss of balance is more common in older adults and could increase the number of injuries having a huge impact on your productivity. Something as simple as having quality, supportive safety shoes can reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls. Safety footwear needs to consider factors such as grip, comfort and protection (steel toe caps etc.) to avoid foot fatigue. You will want a light, flexible boot providing comfort throughout the day with different insoles & widths to suit each worker. I recommend our bestselling Fusion Boot.
Older bodies can be less able to adjust to changes in the temperature and potentially find it harder to adjust to hot or cold environments. Clothing should be easy to put on, take off and should be breathable, lightweight & offer thermal protection & waterproofing.
- Eyesight protection:
Poor eyesight can increase the likelihood of falls. You should make sure you offer your staff prescriptive safety glasses conforming to EN166 like these.
- Hearing protection:
Damaged hearing cannot be repaired and can affect other areas such as balance so make sure that you provide your staff with properly fitted ear protection.
GERMANY, A COUNTRY WHO KNOW WHAT THEY’RE DOING ON THIS.
Germany now has one of Europe’s highest rates of older people working.
Many companies here have adopted small changes to make a significant impact on productivity in their workplace.
BMW, for example, have spent €40,000 making 70 small changes in the workplace, mostly ergonomically based, resulting in an increase in productivity increase by 7% in one year. Some of these changes include:
-wooden flooring to reduce knee strain
-larger typeface on computers & magnifying lenses.
The Porsche factory in Germany have developed swivel working chairs on wheels with the tools attached to the chair, these exoskeletons reduce muscle strain for the workers who are installing parts overhead.
These companies know that it’s their STAFF that will differentiate them from other companies as anyone can get TECHNOLOGY.
Make sure YOU realise this too.