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Age and Workplace Safety Culture Intersect

January 24, 2018

By 2025, millennials, individuals born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s, are projected to comprise 75 percent of the global workforce. Millennials are replacing workers of the baby boomer generation, those who were born between 1946 and 1964. In certain industries, such as manufacturing, mass retirements will mean a significant hit to many companies that demand rapid updates to workplace culture.

Workplace safety is a crucial part of workplace culture, and is important in industries that involve manual labor, heavy materials, and heavy equipment. Safety training, how accidents are reported and handled, and how workers hold each other accountable for working safely are all part of workplace safety culture. As baby boomers continue to retire, many companies are concerned about how this will impact their safety cultures, and are actively taking steps to pass their safety knowledge onto younger workers in a way they can understand and use.

Knowledge Will Keep Workers Safe

When older workers retire, they often bring their experience and knowledge into retirement with them. As older workers with institutional knowledge and decades of hands-on experience move toward retirement, employers should try to retain their knowledge by having them mentor the younger workers who will take their places. Different generations tend to learn differently. For employers, differences in learning styles can be a roadblock to transferring knowledge from one generation of workers to the next. Baby boomers tend to learn best when they are presented with all relevant information in one sitting and are given time afterward to ask questions. Millennials, in contrast, tend to be more intuitive and process information more effectively when it is delivered quickly and decisively. They are a generation used to e-learning and micro-learning.

Not only does each generation of workers learn differently, they each have unique strengths and weaknesses in the workplace. Generation X, those who were born between 1965 and the early 1980s, tend to excel at project management and making executive decisions. Millennials and baby boomers also have unique contributions that can improve workplace safety. Millennials can use their intuitive problem-solving skills to help older workers see challenges in a new light and work out innovative strategies for working through them. Baby boomers can draw upon this knowledge and experience to answer the questions younger workers ask, and provide context for the workplace safety practices whose purposes are not immediately obvious.

Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Workers of All Ages Seek Benefits

When an employee is injured in the workplace, they have the right to file a Workers’ Compensation claim to seek certain benefits, such as compensation for their medical bills and partial wage replacement. You can learn more about Workers’ Compensation claims by speaking with an experienced Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation lawyer at DiTomaso Law. Fill out our online form or call 856-414-0010 to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We are in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and serve clients from the surrounding areas.

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