by Christy Lotz, CPE
Dr. John Howard, Director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) was the keynote speaker today at the Applied Ergonomics Conference. He gave an energized talk about the future of the global workforce. Commenting on both the “chronologically gifted” and obese populations, he basically suggested that designing for ergonomics, aging, and obesity is inevitable and there is no avoiding it. Our jobs as health and safety professionals will continue to address this.
In a discussion I had with Jen Lenhart, Senior Health & Safety Specialist at Whirlpool, she already sees this happening. She is having to “fit the worker to the job” more often based on limited capacity or health issues with employees. She mentioned that it is a difficult topic to address and discuss because it is basically a slap in the face to the American economy. But it is a reality that we should not ignore.