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Ergonomic workplace solutions keeping older workers safe and productive

There’s a silver tsunami about to wash over the aging U.S. workforce, and the materials handling industry is directly in its path. Here’s a look at our older workers and how ergonomic solutions can keep them safe and productive.
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Colorful, bold graphics displayed on a workstation monitor make it easy for workers to see the products to be selected and how to fill an order accurately.

By Lorie King Rogers, Associate Editor
January 19, 2011

There’s a storm warning on the horizon, known as the silver tsunami, that’s calling for lots of gray… gray hair, that is. That’s because the wave of Baby Boomers, about 75 million of us born between 1946 and 1964 who account for 29% of the U.S. population, are getting older. And while some are heading off to retirement, many are remaining in the workforce.

“Sixty-two is no longer the stepping off point,” says Brian McNamara, president of Southworth. He’s right. According to the AARP, 69% of Boomers plan to stay on the job beyond the age of 65.

Boomers are pushing off retirement for good reasons; we like our jobs, we’re still healthy, and we like the social networking. In some cases, however, finances are the reason for staying because investments aren’t worth what they were before the economic downturn. Whatever the reason, this workforce trend is expected to continue. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the percentage of workers between the ages of 65 to 74 will increase by 83.4% between 2006 and 2016.

About the Author

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Lorie King Rogers
Associate Editor

Lorie King Rogers, associate editor, joined Modern in 2009 after working as a freelance writer for the Casebook issue and show daily at tradeshows. A graduate of Emerson College, she has also worked as an editor on Stock Car Racing Magazine.


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