Affiliations: [a] Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, UK | [b] Health and Safety Executive, Liverpool, UK
Corresponding author: Olanrewaju O. Okunribido, Health and Safety Laboratory, Harpur Hill, Buxton, Derbyshire, SK17 9JN, UK. E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: The purpose of this review was to examine the evidence for age/ageing as a risk factor for musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) in the workplace. Studies about MSD among worker populations (published after 2001) were reviewed if they focused on MSD as an occupational problem, included older workers (aged 50 years and above) in the study population, compared outcomes between young (25 years old or less) and older workers, and/or examined the work-relatedness of musculoskeletal disorders (including symptoms and outcomes). Evidence suggested that older workers are more susceptible to MSDs than young workers. However, the propensity for injury of older workers in the workplace depends more on the difference between the demands of work and the worker's physical work capacity rather than their age. An older workforce has implications for the health and safety responsibilities of employers, such as providing additional support for workers' needs, and changing the workplace attitudes towards ageing.
Keywords: Older workers, young workers, musculoskeletal disorders, risk factors