How Can Companies Protect Older Workers?March 4, 2020
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of workers in their 70s has increased by approximately five percent over the past 20 years. This trend is likely to continue. For some seniors, retiring is not an option financially, so they have no choice but to continue to work. Whatever the reason, senior workers are of great value to the workforce because they have the experience and knowledge lacking in younger workers. However, they may have certain physical limitations. It is the employer’s responsibility to place senior workers in positions that take advantage of their extensive experience, while offering the appropriate safeguards to protect them from injuries.
Older workers are less likely to injure themselves at work. This is likely due to their experience and the fact that they are more likely to follow safety protocols. However, when an older worker is injured on the job, the injuries are often more severe and take longer to heal. This should not be a reason to avoid hiring an older worker. In addition to having more experience, older workers tend to be more reliable and loyal to the company.
Proactive Steps Companies Should Take
- Provide appropriate training: Older workers are just as capable of learning new skills and performing new tasks as younger workers. However, they may need additional time to fully understand and absorb the material. Self-paced learning schedules can be very effective. Practical training should also be provided, as it helps reinforce learning.
It is also important to allow older workers to practice using whatever technology is required to do a job. Human resource managers have found that, even though it may take longer to train older workers, they are just as productive once they learned the skill. In addition, they tend to have a stronger work ethic than younger workers.
- Create new opportunities. If a company has an older worker who is responsible for a significant amount of manual labor, consider revising their job description to other, less strenuous opportunities that are more suitable for their experience and physical abilities. An older worker could be moved into a mentorship position, where they can share knowledge while minimizing the risk of an ergonomic injury.
- Implement workplace health programs. This could include healthy menu options, exercise programs, smoking cessation support, and health screenings for common age-related health issues, such as hypertension, arthritis, and diabetes.
Baltimore Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Protect the Rights of Older Workers
If you are a senior worker who was injured on the job, do not hesitate to contact the Baltimore Workers’ Compensation lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Your employer has a responsibility to provide a safe work environment for all employees, including older workers who may have certain physical limitations. We will walk you through the claims process and secure the maximum financial benefits you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 844-556-4LAW (4529) or contact us online. Located in Baltimore, we serve clients throughout Maryland.