Prevention System Updates

Seniors Making a Difference

Release Date:  Jun 13, 2016

Older Workers Bring Valuable Skills and Experience to Ontario Workplaces

MISSISSAUGA: June 13, 2016 - In recognition of Seniors' Month, Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS) salutes mature workers who make a difference by bringing valuable skills and experience to workplaces throughout Ontario every day.

"Older workers are woven into the fabric of Ontario workplaces," said Lynn Brownell, Interim CEO, WSPS.  "Acting as mentors to younger staff and with all that institutional knowledge, they are incredibly valuable contributors to businesses everywhere. It is important for employers to recognize how to help them contribute while still remaining safe on the job."

According to a December 2015 report from the Ontario Ministry of Labour's Vulnerable Worker Task Group, while gradual loss of work ability is not directly tied to aging, it can be expected that an aging population will result in a greater incidence of gradual loss of physical or mental ability in workers. 

And the workforce just keeps getting older. According to Statistics Canada, between 2001 and 2009, the proportion of people in the labour force aged 55 and over rose 7 percentage points (from 10% to 17%). This increase is projected to continue until 2021 when all the baby boomers will have reached 55.

Older workers bring valuable skills and experience to the workplace. Helping these workers apply their skills while staying in tune with their physical health and well-being is an effective way to prevent injuries and illness. WSPS has resources - for employers and workers - on how to keep older workers healthy and safe.

Statistics from the Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC), show that in 2013, workers who were 55 to 65 years of age accounted for 18% of the accepted loss time injuries in Ontario. No wonder then, that in its report, the Vulnerable Worker Task Group, recommended that health and safety system partners create awareness in employers of the challenges and vulnerabilities associated with loss of physical or mental ability of a worker and how to adequately address the loss.

"These resources were developed in conjunction with our Advisory Committees," said Brownell. "These committees are comprised of representatives from businesses across many sectors. So they fully understand the challenges faced by employers and have offered up simple, cost effective solutions that will allow businesses to embrace an aging workforce while still keeping workers safe."

The resources are available at wsps.ca:

WSPS will share these resources, as well as others, in its social networks throughout the rest of June to celebrate and honour the contributions that seniors make every day in communities across the province.

About Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

WSPS is a leader in providing impactful risk management solutions that drive lasting business success for our customers. WSPS offers unparalleled health & safety expertise, insight and solutions for creating healthy work environments where employees thrive and businesses prosper. A dynamic $43-million organization servicing 162,000 member firms, WSPS is primarily focused on the agricultural, industrial/manufacturing and service sectors. A key player in the Ontario occupational health & safety system, WSPS brings together community and business leaders to influence positive change to create a safer and more profitable Ontario. For more information about WSPS, visit wsps.ca.

Contacts:
Nancy Lee Martin at nancylee.martin@wsps.ca or 905-614-1400 ext. 2246.