Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Have Older Workers Been Overlooked by Health and Safety Standards?

Paola Cocca1,a, Filippo Marciano1,b, Cleo Varianou-Mikellidou2 and Elena Stefana3

1Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Brescia, Italy.

2Center of Excellence in Risk & Decision Sciences, European University Cyprus, Cyprus.

3Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.


Older workers represent a special group with characteristics that require specific attention from the Occupational Health and Safety point of view. International standardization might play an important role to ensure practical, efficient, and ethical implementation of solutions to contribute to a health and safe ageing workforce. Despite the recent establishment of the ISO Technical Committee 314 on Ageing Societies, there appears to be a general scarcity of recommendations specifically targeted to the ageing workforce in health and safety standards. The objective of this paper is to review international standards to identify and summarize the main guidelines related to OHS challenges for older workers. This "state of the art" picture helps recognizing and spreading existing recommendations in workplaces. It offers advice on how international standards can support establishing and developing an Occupational Health and Safety management system, and designing the workplace and working environment to support older workers. Finally, it pinpoints the main gaps that still need to be filled.

Keywords: Ageing workforce, Occupational Health and Safety (OHS), International standards, Older workers, Elderly, Ergonomics.

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