Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Opinion: Call for More Research on How Older Workers Respond in Actual Working Conditions

Stating that too little is known about how workers manage job demands as they age and begin to lose physical and cognitive abilities., Business Insurance is calling for adequate research into older worker performance conducted in real workplaces, where all the workaday pressures are present. While there is widespread agreement that knowing more about older workers is important for employers, most studies on aging-worker performance have been completed in quiet lab environments where people are asked to complete specific tasks.
That means employers don't know enough about how aging employees are accommodating for declining capabilities. Are they jerry-rigging devices to help them lift loads or creating platforms that help them step over obstacles?

If employers are not directing such accommodations, it is possible individual worker efforts could actually be creating safety hazards for themselves and other employees.

Perhaps there are better ways to accommodate that could increase productivity. Research could help answer such questions.
Source: Business Insurance "Older workers warrant researchers' attention" (February 8, 2010)

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