Assessing the impact of environmental quality factors on the industrial performance of aged workers: A literature review

Source avec lien : Safety Science, 149. 10.1016/j.ssci.2022.105680

Cet article présente une revue structurée de la littérature sur les caractéristiques des travailleurs âgés, les facteurs de QEI (par exemple, l’ergonomie, la température, la ventilation, l’humidité relative, l’éclairage et le bruit) et les résultats de performance, en explorant l’intégration entre les couples de facteurs. Enfin, cet article propose une carte schématique des résultats clés, soulignant comment la sauvegarde du bien-être des travailleurs âgés est fondamentale pour maintenir ou, mieux encore, augmenter la performance des travailleurs industriels.

In the last decades, the age of the working population is increasing. According to EUROSTAT (2020) data on the employment rate, the proportion of aged workers, i.e., 50 years old and over, reached 20% in all the European countries. The growing ageing workforce is creating significant challenges in industrial structures. A consequence of workforce ageing appears to be the reduction of workers’ performance due to a decline in their overall physical and mental abilities. On the other hand, aged workers are highly valued for their knowledge and skills developed over their years of work. For this reason, industries are adopting strategies to allow aged workers to stay as long as possible at their workplace positions while keeping them safe and healthy. Since 1950, the International Labor Organization and the World Health Organization suggested improving the work environment, by acting on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors, to support health and safety and increase workers performance in the workplace. Following this recommendation, previous studies investigated the performance variation of industrial workers due to ageing and the changes in performance due to variations in the IEQ factors. At the same time, recent studies underlined that age represents a crucial risk factor in the worker’s response to the IEQ. However, articles collecting, categorizing and discussing such contributions to pave the way for an integrated analysis among the three factors are missing but highly expected. To fill this gap, this paper presents a structured literature review about aged workers’ characteristics, IEQ factors (e.g., ergonomics, temperature, ventilation, relative humidity, lighting, and noise), and performance outcomes, exploring the integration between couples of factors. Finally, this paper proposes a schematic map of the key outcomes, highlighting how safeguarding aged workers’ well-being is fundamental for maintaining or, even better, increasing industrial workers performance.

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