Workforce demographics, challenges and strategies: a ‘design for all’ method in a manufacturing industry perspective

The workforce is ageing rapidly in most parts of the world. Today‟s challenging and economically com-petitive working scenarios demand the retention of skilled, experienced and more loyal older workers. Ageing affects work performance and it becomes necessary to understand the effects of ageing. However, there are many negative stereotypes which result in discrimination in relation to older workers. A „design for all‟ method is considered helpful in the promotion of the employment of older workers where prod-ucts, service and workstation design requirements of older workers might be addressed proactively. This approach uses realistic data about physical, physiological and cognitive abilities of a variety of people who belong to different age groups, shapes and sizes. Implementation of this strategy can potentially en-sure better and safer working environments for all workers. This paper reveals the need to use this com-puter-aided design for all methodology for industrial applications, especially assembly activities in the manufacturing environment.