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Designing Age-Friendly Workplaces: An Occupational Health Perspective

  • James W. GroschEmail author
  • Juliann C. Scholl
Chapter

Abstract

The graying of the workforce has fostered a burgeoning interest in the design of age-friendly workplaces. This chapter provides an occupational health perspective on workplace design with the ultimate goal of maximizing worker safety, health, and well-being. To set the stage for this perspective, the burden of occupational injuries and illnesses is discussed, as well as changes in occupational health outcomes (both positive and negative) that will likely occur as the workforce grows older. Four guiding principles of an occupational health perspective on aging are also described. The concept of age-friendly environments is examined through the lens of well-established efforts in two domains outside of the workplace (aging in place, age-friendly communities/cities). Next, drawing on case studies and current research findings, strategies for designing age-friendly workplaces are presented. These strategies include modifications of the work environment, changes in human resource policy, expanding flexible work practices, encouraging lifelong learning, and adopting a comprehensive, multi-level approach. The chapter concludes with ten practical steps organizations should consider in designing and implementing age-friendly improvements.

Keywords

Age-friendly workplaces Age-friendly communities Aging in place Occupational health Flexible work Human resource policies Workplace safety Worker productivity 

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCincinnatiUSA

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