Thursday, May 24, 2007

Eastern Ergonomics Conference Addresses Aging Workforce

Dealing with an aging workforce ...

"In New York, the upcoming Eastern Ergonomics Conference will tackle an issue several companies will need to face in the next 10 years: An aging staff. Current statistics suggest 76 million Baby Boomers—or about one third of the U.S. workforce—is on a path to retirement. The conference will also address the newest techniques for improving workplace productivity, safety, efficiency, and profitability, and the most current information on compliance issues.

Conference topics include: Program management, cost justification and rate of return; risk assessment and prevention; workplace health and safety; determining cost effectiveness of products/services; healthcare and lab facilities; and industrial environments, among others.

Among the speaking engagements are “Flexible, Nimble, Ahead of the Curve: How Pitney Bowes Is Optimizing Its Aging Workforce” and “Passion Never Retires: How the Aging Workforce Has Created A Strategic Competitive Advantage for the Home Depot."

Attendees include ergonomists and ergonomics specialists; ergonomics, productivity, health and safety teams; executive management and department leaders; facilities, maintenance, site planners and managers; safety engineers and managers; and manufacturing/production designers and engineers."    (Continued via Interior Design)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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3 Comments:

Blogger Steve said...

As someone that provides anti-fatigue flooring systems to industrial/commercial clients, I am still amazed at the lack of attention some companies are giving to the issue of an aging workforce. Let's face it, the babyboomers are not getting any younger and companies are going to have to find ways to enable them to stay productive longer.

Unfortunately many older employees find themselves working blue collar jobs in industrial plants that have cold, hard, floors where they are expected to stand for long periods of time. Anyone that has worked in these conditions, young or old, can testify that it takes a toll on your feet, legs, and back. Static workers face serious health issues as a result.

So, what's keeping these companies from taking a proactive approach to this problem??? I have to believe it's all about the all mighty dollar. If they are not being forced to buy a safety item by a government regulatory agency, it's often times hard for them to justify the expense. I face this reality every day as I visit with Health and Safety professionals in industry.

To me, it's a pay now or pay later issue. Besides increasing productivity and reducing missed days from work, which dramatically impact the employers bottom line in a positive way, an employer that spends money on my product is sending a clear message to all of his employees that he cares about their health and welfare. That goes a long way in lifting employee morale and building employee loyalty.

So the key, in my opinion, is clearly education. This conference is a great way to educate the decision makers of the importance of ergonomics to not only the aging workforce, but the workforce in general. They have to be shown how providing healthy work environments can have a positive effect on their bottom line in the long run.

Steve White
swhite@fryinc. com

4:47 PM  
Blogger Usernomics said...

Thanks for the comment Steve.

Bob

6:06 PM  
Blogger AlvaroF said...

Hello Bob,

Great post. Now, there is also a cognitive component at play.

You may enjoy the article Ten Important Truths About Aging just published in The Complete Lawyer, http://www.thecompletelawyer.com/volume3/issue4/article.php?ppaid=3811, and co-authored by renowned neuroscientits Dr. Elkhonon Goldberg and myself:

Aging Means Lifelong Development, Not Automatic Decline
Some Skills Improve With Age
Some Skills Need To Be Continuously Nurtured And Trained
Not All Instances Of Forgetting Are Of Equal Concern
We Are In Control, To A Large Extent
There Are Four “Pillars Of Brain Health”
Cross-Training Our Brains Builds Up Cognitive Reserve
Computer-Based Brain Exercise Programs Can Help
Embrace “Good” Stress; Eliminate “Bad” Stress
Retirement Is Overrated

Regards,

Alvaro

6:32 PM  

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