by Christy Lotz, CPE
Yesterday my colleague, Kent Hatcher, and I hosted a one-hour live webinar entitled Designing the Workplace for an Aging Population. During the event, we polled the audience to get a feel for why this is such a hot topic. We asked the following three questions and their responses are summarized below.
Question 1: What percentage of your workforce is older than 65 years of age?
Question 2: At what age do you expect to retire?
Q3: Where have you seen the biggest challenge for older workers at your company?
The results from our audience confirm what we’re also seeing with our clients: more and more older workers are on the job and the number of working years is getting stretched out. We also see that attendees’ largest concern for aging workers is in material handling. Good design for the younger generation is good design for the “chronologically gifted”. Where we see the biggest issues are in those companies that do not consider ergonomics in design at all (for instance, lifting > 50 lb products). Although the younger workers may be able to do it, it doesn’t mean they should.