By Debbie Anstis Posted 5 December 2017

Older workers and accidents

The HSE have for the first time made a special distinction regarding older workers and accident rates. The HSE annual data showed that while 2016/17 fatalities of 137 people were the lowest on record, a quarter of those injuries were to employees over 60, even though they only make up 10% of the workforce.

Today’s workforce is likely (and will continue to) have older workers due to increased life expectancy and the removal of default retirement age.

It is believed that older people are more at risk due to several factors:-

    1. Lower degree of oversight from supervisors who assume that the individual is experienced
    2. Older people may have missed out on safety training or have been trained to a lesser standard
    3. Normal age deterioration in sight and hearing can make the individual slower to react to danger.

It has also been found that while older people have less accidents than younger workers, the severity of the accident is often more serious.

What does this mean to your business?

Many organisations have employees over 60 or will be employing new staff in that age range. Organisations should not assume that, due to age, an individual has a full understanding of industry standard safe working.

Ensure you allow time for staff to absorb safety messages (introducing self-pacing training may help), think about the task and the individual, and reduce risk when possible.

To discuss this or anything else please contact Debbie Anstis on 01793 818300 or send her an email.



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