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[Excerpt] What do we mean by an “aging workforce”? As we live longer and healthier, older people continue to grow as a proportion of the working population. The number of workers of age 45 and older has doubled since 1950. Workers >55 years of age are the workforce’s fastest growing group. While many enjoy their jobs, satisfied to be useful and productive, for others, there is no choice -- expenses, especially health care costs, necessitate postponing retirement. As baby boomers retire, they are followed by a substantially-smaller younger generation. Many employers want to attract and retain more experienced workers.

Older workers are safer workers,but aging can sometimes make an injury more severe. An example would be a fall for a young person producing bruises, whereas a fall from the same height for an older person produces broken bones. Or an older person might see more strains and sprains from a job than a younger person. Certainly, as we age, our rate of healing is slower and we might need more time for recuperation than a younger person.


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© Cornell University. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Recommended Citation
Brown, N. J. (2019). Health and safety issues of an aging workforce [Electronic version]. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, Workplace Health and Safety Program.