Helping to Prevent Workplace Accidents Involving Employees of Senior Years


Employees of more senior years can be more susceptible to certain hazards in the workplace. Provisions should be made to prevent potential accidents by ensuring that a workplace is free of unnecessary clutter and any trip hazards should be clearly marked, or removed, if feasible.

Clear documentation

Clear documentation should be readily accessible that highlights potential workplace dangers, such as: correct manual lifting techniques, maintaining optimal ergonomic posture (i.e. correct sitting positions) and how to avoid falls and spills. Stairs should have adequate safety rails and when possible, a ramp, or elevator, should be available.

Bathrooms and restrooms

Many workplace accidents involving senior employees occur in bathrooms and restrooms. Any employer should ensure that there are adequate safety precautions in place – this may involve providing additional facilities that have improved safety features. Low-level toilets and basins are advisable, as are safety rails and increased space around each individual facility. An emergency pull-cord offers additional assistance, should anyone suffer an accident in these bathrooms and need emergency assistance.

Health and safety representatives

Employers should have designated health and safety representatives and qualified first-aiders. These employees can provide primary assistance and can be available to consult, if any employee of advanced years has any safety concerns.

It is good practice to provide supplementary training for the more senior employees. This training can highlight health and safety issues, as well as introduce greater awareness of potential workplace hazards and highlight any areas of concern. This additional training not only displays due diligence, it can provide legal liability protection for an employer. There should be no discrimination against employees of more senior years, but these employees can be more prone to certain workplace accidents. By following these simple guidelines, an employer can protect against any potential workplace accidents.