It’s undeniable that any worker – who operates in any industry – is exposed to the risk that they could be hurt while engaging in employment-related activity. Yet, it is also undeniable that some workers are more likely to suffer work-related harm than others.
One of the general demographic groups that is more likely to suffer work-related harm on construction sites, for example, is older workers. Whether it involves falls from scaffolding or machinery-related crush scenarios, older workers are disproportionately affected by acute and chronic injuries alike on construction jobs.
New safety-related resources are available
Because this age group gets hurt so frequently, the Center for Construction Research and Training has understandably perceived that there is a need for tailored resources that address their unique circumstances. The organization has, therefore, created an Aging Workers Data Dashboard to serve as a streamlined resource for older construction workers who are both hoping to prevent work-related harm and for those who have suffered harm and are trying to forge a path forward.
This new dashboard offers supportive programs, hazard assessments and primary prevention tools that address a variety of different subjects. Some of the core information concerns:
- Safety climate
- Fall prevention and protection concerns
- Site management
- Promotion of health and wellness
- Lighting and noise matters
- Materials handling
The dashboard also features links to relevant agencies and legal standards related to workplace safety and age-related concerns unique to this demographic.
Where resources fall short
This new dashboard is an achievement worth celebrating. Any efforts that acknowledge the hazards that older construction workers face increase awareness. Yet, this dashboard is primarily for workers themselves to utilize. And, ultimately, it is the responsibility of employers, manufacturers and other interested parties to provide safe products and safe environments in the first place.
Yes, it is important for workers to remain informed about their rights and about information that can help to keep them safe. However, what is most critical are influences that are largely out of the hands of workers themselves. This is one of the many reasons why it’s so important for older construction workers to not only access resources for their benefit in a proactive way, it is important for them to understand that they have rights and options under the law if they’re hurt in a construction accident.