Health and safety issues in the aging workforce

Institute for Work & Health
481 University Avenue, Suite 800
Toronto, Ontario

Dr. Harry Shannon
Department of Clinical Epidemiology & Biostatistics
McMaster University

The population is aging in Canada and in the rest of the world. Death rates continue to fall and, as a result, life expectancy is increasing. Moreover, fertility rates are low in Western countries—where they are below replacement—and falling elsewhere in the world. These two phenomena are leading to a change in the age structure of the population, with projections forecasting that the proportion of the population over 65 will rise substantially. 

Concerns about the viability of social programs have prompted governments to encourage workers to remain in the workforce. What will persuade older workers to stay in employment? What needs to be done to ensure they remain healthy and productive? This talk examines these issues. The health effects of normal aging are reviewed, as well as the implications for health and safety. Some possible ways to manage the aging workforce are discussed. Finally, questions that need to be answered are outlined, and methodological challenges for epidemiological studies are described.

About IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and other Canadian and international academic institutions around the world. For those unable to attend in person or via live stream, most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are audio-recorded and made available as slidecasts, typically within two weeks of the original presentation.