Bermang Ortiz, BA; Harpriya Kaur, PhD; Gretchen A. Petery; PhD, James W. Grosch, PhD
This poster will present NCPAW’s strategic goals, a description of current activities, and a model of productive aging.
In the United States, the proportion of workers aged 55 or older is increasing and is projected to account for nearly 25% of the labor force in 2024. Workforce aging has implications for occupational safety and health across all sectors. For example, although the likelihood of fatal occupational injuries increases with age, older workers tend to experience fewer non-fatal workplace injuries than their younger coworkers.
The National Center for Productive Aging and Work (NCPAW) at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) advances lifelong well-being for workers of all ages. The concept of productive aging is informed by the Work Ability approach developed by the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, as well as the Total Worker Health program within NIOSH. From this perspective, productive aging takes a comprehensive and integrated view of the aging process across the life span, including the physical, mental, and social aspects of a worker’s well-being.
NCPAW’s approach to productive aging includes four attributes: (1) a life-span perspective, (2) a comprehensive and integrated framework, (3) outcomes that recognize the priorities of both workers and organizations, and (4) a supportive work culture for multi-generational issues. Together, these attributes illustrate the emphasis of productive aging to meet the needs of all workers as they age, and the needs of employers into the future.
NCPAW promotes productive aging across the working life in a variety of ways, including: – Engaging in research to advance the understanding of workplace factors that contribute to the productive and healthy aging of workers. – Research translation activities that effectively engages stakeholders and intermediaries in reducing workplace risks and preventing work-related injuries and illness in the aging workforce – Partnership development and capacity building with occupational health and safety researchers, organized labor, employers, intermediaries, and other stakeholders. Current NCPAW projects include develop educational products to prevent WMSDs in construction workers across age groups; develop educational products to prevent WMSDs and falls among aging retail workers; and develop fact sheets about important occupational and safety affecting aging workers.