Age And Experience In EHS: Unveiling The Hidden Factors That Shape Workplace Safety

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Age And Experience In EHS: Unveiling The Hidden Factors That Shape Workplace Safety

EHS practices are vital for maintaining workplace safety and wellbeing. However, one crucial aspect that is often overlooked is the impact of a worker’s age and experience. In this blog, we will explore how age and experience shape EHS practices and outcomes, and discuss effective strategies for managing these factors.

Age significantly influences EHS outcomes, affecting workers’ physical capabilities and risk perception. As workers age, their agility and flexibility may decline, potentially altering their ability to navigate workplace hazards. Different age groups exhibit distinct attitudes towards safety, with younger workers inclined towards risk-taking and older workers prioritizing caution. Notably, young workers in Europe face a 40% higher risk of work-related injuries compared with older workers. Factors such as impulsivity, sensation-seeking tendencies, lifestyle choices and accumulated knowledge contribute to these differences. Research suggests that gaining a deeper understanding of how to enhance skills and knowledge, provide training, and promote wellness greatly contributes to supporting workers' wellbeing and safety throughout their careers, regardless of their stage of life.

Experience plays a pivotal role in shaping workers' approaches to EHS practices. As employees gain experience in their professional settings, they build up knowledge and skills, enabling them to better understand and manage risks. Experienced workers demonstrate superior hazard recognition and problem-solving abilities, due to their accumulated knowledge and familiarity with the workplace. However, experience can also bring challenges, such as complacency and risk-taking behaviour. To address these challenges, organizations should foster a culture of continuous learning and knowledge-sharing.

Construction is a high-risk industry with the highest work-related fatal injuries; workers in this sector face physically demanding tasks and hazardous environments. Age and experience have significant impacts on EHS in construction. Young workers may lack fully developed physical capabilities, while older workers may experience a decline in their physical capacity. Experienced workers demonstrate superior hazard recognition skills and are more attentive to the need to identify potentially dangerous areas, compared with inexperienced workers, who may lack awareness and knowledge, increasing the risk of overlooking potential risks.

To effectively address age- and experience-related factors in workplace safety, organizations should implement tailored training programmes, continuously improve practices, and make data-driven decisions. It is crucial to provide training that considers the specific needs of workers based on age and experience, to foster a culture of safety. Continuous improvement initiatives allow organizations to adapt and enhance EHS programmes over time, ensuring ongoing effectiveness and workplace safety. By adopting occupational health and risk management solutions, businesses can analyse age- and experience-related data on workplace incidents, identify trends, and make informed decisions and targeted interventions for improvement.

To learn more about integrating health and safety strategies in the workplace, please see Verdantix Buyer’s Guide: Occupational Health Software (2022).


April Choy


April is an Analyst at Verdantix in the Verdantix EHS practice. Her current research agenda focuses on emerging technologies and the impact of software on the EHS function. Prior to joining Verdantix, April completed an MSc in Environmental Technology at Imperial College London, where she specialized in integrated water management.