20 Predictions on Occupational Health and Safety for 2020

Twenty safety and health leaders from various industries were asked to give their predictions on the trends they see most affecting occupational health and safety in 2020 and beyond, and several themes emerged.

To them, looking at safety in a vacuum is “old school” thinking. Modern safety professionals take a holistic approach to health and safety. Blending a proactive approach with innovative tools will help those in occupational health rise to the challenges and opportunities of this new decade.

Here are some emerging topics that will affect the workplace in the years to come. 

Changing Demographics

Many of the experts commented on the shifting demographics in the workplace, particularly among aging workers. According to USA Today, older Americans are not only the fastest growing segment of the US workforce but they are also living longer than previous generations. However, with age comes certain setbacks.

Julie Lecci, manager of occupational health at Conagra, said safety managers are creatively stretched to meet the limitations of their older workers. “As a person ages, their physical ability continues to decline, while work requirements remain constant,” Lecci said.

Nevertheless, in the age of smart factories and cyber-physical systems, there is a logical approach to older workers. Kathleen Ciszewski from Danone North America said she believes a marriage between technology and the aging workforce is a safe and logical route for their employees.

“Adaptable, inexpensive, easy-to-use tools and systems will be needed to continue to optimize our workforce and prevent future injuries, or I’m afraid we will see a serious uptick in stress/strain and repetitive motion injuries,” Ciszewski said.

Read the full story here.

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