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The Ageing Workforce Dr Robin ‘Sid’ O’Toole Occupational Physician.

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Presentation on theme: "The Ageing Workforce Dr Robin ‘Sid’ O’Toole Occupational Physician."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Ageing Workforce Dr Robin ‘Sid’ O’Toole Occupational Physician

2 Scope Australia’s Ageing workforce Effect of Ageing Body and Soul Workplace Prevention versus Accommodation

3 Ageing Oz o 2007 o Population ≅ 21million o Proportion ≥ 65yrs ≅ 13% o Proportion yrs ≅ 67% o 2056 (projected) o Population ≅ 35.5 million o Proportion ≥ 65yrs ≅ 23% o Proportion yrs ≅ 60%

4 Dependency Ratio o 2007 Dependency Ratio = 48 o 2056 Dependency Ratio = 65 o Increase in ratio is expected to commence from 2015.

5 Life Expectancy o In 1970 o ♀ years o ♂ years o In 2010 o ♀ years o ♂ years o In 2050 o ♀ years o ♂- 84 years

6 Quick Summary o Enter the Workforce at 18 o Leave at 65 o Die aged 84 o Contributed to Dependency for 47 years o Been Dependent for 47 years years years 57 years

7 Decreasing Dependency o Can't start earlier o Exploitation and Fair Work legislation o Best to get people to work longer o Less time that they are dependent o Earn more as you get older therefore more tax revenue.

8 Effect of Ageing - Body o ↓ muscle strength and balance o ↓ aerobic capacity and endurance o ↓ Joint mobility – flexibility and posture o ↑ reaction time o ↓ Hearing/vision o Altered Sleep Pattern o Increased potential for chronic disease

9 Effects of Ageing - Soul Slower mental processes (NB Quality may be the same) Ingrained perceptions Rigidity

10 Effect of Ageing - Workplace

11 o Physical Effects of Ageing o ↑ risk of trips, slips and falls o ↓ tolerance to shift work o Particular significance c.f. night shift o ↓ ability maintain intensity of effort o ↓ Ability to work in extremes of temperature o ↑ Time to train on new practices. Effect of Ageing - Workplace

12 o Injury rates are less o Injury more severe o Result of Injury longer to resolve o Injury healing time only slightly longer o De-conditioning is a major contributor o Premature retirement o Injury costs more (up to ~ 2x) Effect of Ageing - Workplace

13 But….. o Older Workers are; o More happy with their post injury outcome o Have better adaptation o Corporate knowledge

14 Job Lock Worker feels locked into their job and unable to securely seek further employment

15 Prevention vs Accommodation

16 Prevention o Alter the population o Alter Employment Strategies o Only employ young o Only employ for set period of time (contract) o Strict Pre-employment Physical Standards o Maintenance of Physical Standards

17 Accommodation o Workplace Changes o Management o Physical

18 General approach People are lazy Organisations / Governments are lazier Prefer to be given something that they can approve and take credit for than to actually develop it

19 Workplace Management Changes Accept there is a problem Apply resources to assess extent Create defined mission statements Create Protocols / Procedures Assess your progress Adapt

20 Need for rigid protocols Current level Injured Worker Injury Retirement Lateral Integration Maintain Current Job Reduced Level Someone else’s Job Vacant job

21 Random Company X o Everyone must be able to do Everything o Guise of Cross Training o Can they safely perform all tasks? o Fitness for duty assessment o Ask an OP. o Functional Capacity Examination Job Task Analysis 1.Show up 2.Drink coffee 3.Talk to mates 4.Lift heavy things 5.Clean toilets 6.Drive trucks 7.Mop floor 8.Juggle cats 9.Shave widgets Job Task Analysis 1.Show up 2.Drink coffee 3.Talk to mates 4.Lift heavy things 5.Clean toilets 6.Drive trucks 7.Mop floor 8.Juggle cats 9.Shave widgets

22 Functional Capacity Evaluation Current level Injured Worker Injury Retirement Lateral Integration Current Job Reduced Level Someone else’s Job Vacant job Pass Fail FCE

23 Need for rigid protocols Current level Injured Worker Injury Retirement Lateral Integration Current Job Reduced Level Someone else’s Job Vacant job Pass Fail FCE Older Worker

24 Discrimination

25 ALL Workers Need for rigid protocols Current level Injury Retirement Lateral Integration Current Job Reduced Level Someone else’s Job Vacant job Pass Fail FCE Older Worker

26 Periodic Health Examination Age Periodic Health Exam Functional Exam If indicated 40Both yearly If indicated 50Both 52 & 54 Yes If indicated 55 + Yearly Every 2-5 years

27 But o Confronting o Needs to be sold to the workforce o Argued that it is a company’s DoC to do this.

28 Protocols o Must cover off on o Failures o Reasonable accommodation o Workplace Rehabilitation o Change the Job Task Analysis

29 Workplace Physical Changes o MHE o Technology o Worker advice o Worker

30 What about the Insurer? Must decide –Injury versus –Exacerbation/Aggravation versus –Normal Ageing Process

31 Decision requires Knowledgable specialists practicing Evidence Base Assessment –Seriously!

32 But…. o My workforce aren’t performing a physical task o A fitness for duty assessment isn’t necessarily a physical test. o Cognitive assessments o Psychological assessments o Assessment of effects of Chronic Disease

33 Take home messages o We’re getting older, and having to work longer o Proportion of those available for recruitment islessening o Stuck having to employ older people o Need to take care of those we’ve got

34 Take home messages


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