The ageing workforce: a case study

2008-07-25T08:59:21Z (GMT) by Colette Nicolle Rowan Thompson
The aims of this study were to investigate work conditions in a warehouse of a large distribution company, and to advise on how to eliminate gaps between job demands and how work capacities for an ageing workforce may be maintained or increased. The entire warehouse team of 56 employees was involved in the study, consisting of 26 males and 30 females ranging in age from 19 to 63 years. Methods used were quantitative analysis of accident statistics, quantitative and/or qualitative analysis of human resources and administrative records, direct observation and informal consultation, semi-structured interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, task analysis, and postural analysis. A selection of results provides a genuine illustration of an ageing workforce, which can be applicable to a wider range of employment scenarios. The study recommends that adequate training and awareness raising are required for both employers and employees of all ages to recognise limitations, coping strategies, the advantages of flexible working practices, and safe working postures. The findings and recommendations are of direct and practical value to a range of companies, and can contribute to training schemes in age awareness for employers and employees alike.