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Age Matters: The Importance of PPE for Older Workers

older lady contractor standing in front of her teammates

Age matters when it comes to PPE safety gear, and not just because the older workforce requires different types of protection than the younger generation. The reality is that older workers are more likely to experience injury or illness related to their work, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI). This means that even though most companies view PPE as simply an issue for younger workers, keeping your older employees safe should be the top priority.

Why does an older workforce require more PPE?

An aging workforce is more susceptible to injury and illness, and therefore require more PPE to stay safe on the job. This includes items like gloves, safety glasses, and hearing protection. In addition, older workers are more likely to have chronic health conditions that can be aggravated by exposure to hazardous materials. By wearing the proper PPE, older workers can stay safe and healthy while continuing to do the jobs they love. - Some common hazards for older workers include: vibration from power tools, harmful chemicals in paints or glues, lead from solder on old pipes
- Age is not a factor when it comes to needing safety gear. All employees need access to the necessary PPE so that they can perform their jobs safely.
- Aging does increase vulnerability to injury or illness - especially those related to dexterity, visual acuity, hand strength, cognition and memory
- Proper use of PPE will help you age with dignity in the workplace. - Workplace injuries result in longer recovery periods, and some injuries may never heal properly.
- With the right PPE, seniors can continue working without the fear of being sidelined by an injury or illness.

Customising training for the ageing workforce

Older workers often have different needs when it comes to learning how to use PPE. They may be less mobile, have poorer vision, and/or hearing loss. As a result, it's important to customise training so that they can still utilise PPE effectively. One way is by giving them materials in alternative formats such as large print or audio versions. Another way is by using trainers who speak the same language as the learners, thus eliminating the need for translators on-site or through headsets. In addition, older workers may also benefit from longer breaks during training sessions and time to stretch their legs. It's also helpful to offer one-on-one help before any hands-on practice. There are many other ways you can customise your training programme to make it more accessible for your ageing workforce.

older worker standing in front of machinery in a factory

How to pick the right PPE 

With the right PPE, you can stay safe at work and at home. But how do you know what PPE to buy? Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing PPE:
-The type of work you do: If you work with hazardous materials, you'll need different PPE than someone who works in an office.
-Your age and health: As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to injury. That's why it's important to choose PPE that will protect you from potential injuries.
-Your budget: PPE can be expensive, so it's important to find something that fits your budget.
-The size and fit: Make sure the PPE you choose is comfortable and fits properly. You want the protection offered by PPE to be effective and not get in the way of your job.
While there are many types of PPE on the market, some basics include gloves, goggles, masks or respirators, earplugs or earmuffs, and aprons or gowns. Each piece should suit your needs depending on where you're working and what hazards you may face. Find out which type is best for you by talking to experts like sales representatives at Eyevex Safety!

Though we often think of PPE as something that only young, healthy workers need, the truth is that age matters when it comes to PPE. As we age, our bodies become more susceptible to injury and illness, which is why it's so important for older workers to have the right PPE. Whether you're just starting out in your career or you're nearing retirement, make sure you have the PPE you need to stay safe on the job. Investing in safety gear can give you peace of mind and allow you to focus on doing your best work without worrying about what might happen. After all, a happy worker is a productive worker!

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