To this year's winners, Community Health Systems, the City of Knoxville, Tenn., Silverado Senior Living, the U.S. Army's Red River Depot and honorable mention International Paper, we tip our hats. Well done! Now, back to work.
I don't want to be a killjoy as managers pop the corks and cheer, so I encourage them to think about the latest workplace fatality statistics for older workers after the festivities have ended.
In 2011, the fatal injury risk for workers 65 years and older of 10.8 per full-time equivalent employee was three times the overall fatality rate for all workers, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.
The economy has taken a toll on workers' 401(k)s, forcing them to postpone retirement so employers better get used to seeing older, grayer heads on the assembly line. But if these same veterans are at much higher risk of injury and death on the job, it's not doing anybody any good. Losing highly-skilled workers is a tragedy for companies and families.
It's time employers rethink their approach to working conditions, since workers are going to be toiling into their 70s.
Toss out the consulting reports penned by 30-somethings about 20-somethings, and get supervisors to spend 30 minutes a month for a year with an employee over the age of 60 and ask them how they can work safer.
November 1, 2012
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