The ageing workforce: a case study

2015-09-23T14:59:23Z (GMT) by Keith Case Amjad Hussein
Digital human modelling (DHM) most frequently models humans that are able-bodied and of working age. However, increased life expectancy is resulting in employment above ‘normal’ retirement age, often reflected in legislation changing state pension age and freedom for workers to work as long as wish. The resulting older workforce has many positive aspects including increased experience, wisdom, loyalty and motivation, but negative effects such as the loss of capabilities in strength, mobility, vision and hearing will also be present. Inclusive design aims to accommodate more of the workforce in the design of workplaces so it is essential that design methods are able to cope with the ageing workforce. A case study was conducted in a furniture manufacturing company, particularly to investigate the usefulness of a DHM-based inclusive design method in determining working strategies that are suitable for older workers in terms of work productivity, well-being and safety.