Eurofound Report Illuminates Issues for Older Workers

Significant numbers of workers ages 50-54 say they must work night shifts, lift heavy loads, and work at high speed, causing one-third of this age group to say they believe they won’t be able to work to age 60 or wouldn’t want to do the same job until then.

The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound) published a new report Dec. 12 about sustainable work and the older workforce that shows why many of the workers believe they won’t be able to keep working until age 60. Significant numbers of workers ages 50-54 say they must work night shifts, lift heavy loads, and work at high speed, according to the report, which said one-third of this age group say they believe they won't be able to work to age 60 or wouldn't want to do the same job until then.

This age group also ranks highest for saying their work puts their health at risk, and that this mainly results from working in painful positions, doing shift or night work, and/or poor work/life balance, the report states.

About 29 percent of the 50-54 group say they'd prefer to work fewer hours, and the percentage saying this is higher among high-skilled workers.

Charts in the report show more than 20 percent of men and more than 10 percent of women between 50 and 54 reported their jobs involve carrying or moving very heavy loads, while about 35 percent of both sexes in that age bracket said their work involves tiring or painful positions and more than 40 percent of both sexes in the bracket said they must work at very high speed.

Eurofound is based in Dublin, Ireland, and is committed to making Europe a safer, healthier, and more productive place to work by promoting a culture of risk prevention to improve working conditions.

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