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Employers concerned about aging workforce: Study

Employers concerned about aging workforce: Study

Employers are concerned about health and wellness issues connected with an aging workforce, but most haven't implemented strategies to manage safety and leave for an older population, according to a joint study released Tuesday by the Disability Management Employer Coalition and Cornell University.

In a survey of 522 employers, 85% of respondents said they are very or somewhat concerned about an aging workforce. However, 64% of respondents said they have not designed their absence and disability management programs around those concerns.

The statistics coincide with a workforce that is growing older on average. About 19.5% of the workforce was 55 years old or older in 2010, and such workers are expected to account for about 25% of the workforce by 2020, according the report from DMEC and Cornell.

Meanwhile, the study said the disability prevalence rate is close to 10% for workers who are 60 years old or older, compared with a rate of less than 5% for workers under 40 years old.

Employers can better manage safety and health concerns for older workers through strategies such as schedule flexibility, wellness programs, ergonomic job accommodations and safety checks to determine whether safety procedures are being followed correctly.

“Employers are wise to consider the needs of aging workers, both to aid retention, and to create an environment that is inclusive and productive,” the report reads.

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