As we grow older, our needs begin to change. This also includes the way we perform at work. That does not mean that older citizens cannot be productive. On the contrary, older employees bring valuable experience and knowledge to the workplace that cannot be easily replaced. Medically though, employers need to make sure the safety of each employee is ensured, and this includes taking steps to meet the changing needs of their older workers.
As studies have pointed out, “our society has a strong interest in retaining older workers.”
Protecting Older Workers
As people get older their bodies go through the natural process of aging that can include:
- Worsening of vision
- Hearing impairment
- Reduced response times
- Balance issues
- Lower bone density
- Less muscle mass
Because these changes are gradual, many workers and their employers do not consider that they may need some accommodations for the work they perform.
The CDC tells us that by 2020, one in four American workers will be over 55 and that the workforce will be forced to adapt to an aging population. Here are some steps employers can take that will keep everyone in the workplace safer, not just older citizens:
- Manage workplace noise
- Reduce slip or trip hazards
- Ensure an ergonomically friendly environment (workplace, seating, lighting, etc.)
- Use teams collaboratively
- Create a workspace that lets people move around regularly
- Be more flexible with the schedule
- Ensuring that a break schedule is created and adhered to at all times
- Promote healthy lifestyle habits
California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) prevents employers in the state from discriminating against employees based on their age, including a denial of a work environment free of discrimination and denied medical leave.
What You Can Do Now
If you are an older citizen whose safety was not taken care of in the workplace, the time to say something is now. If you were injured due to the negligence of your employer, you may be eligible for more compensation than you were offered, if you were offered any at all.
Most of the time, an employer will not say they are letting an employee go because of their age, but that is the real reason behind it.
At Koszdin, Fields & Sherry, we will have your back to ensure you are treated fairly. We want to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your injury-related expenses. If you were fired for making a claim or your claim was denied, we will pursue further compensation for your pain and suffering. When you need a Los Angeles workplace injury attorney, you can reach out to us for a free consultation by clicking here or calling one of these numbers: 818-812-5639 or 800-747-3447.