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Med Lav. 2000 Jul-Aug;91(4):403-17.

[Aging and occupational accidents].

[Article in Italian]


Ageing and occupational accidents is an underestimated issue in Italy. This deals both with shortcomings of data and proper studies in the matter and with safety culture and interventions. Nevertheless, some tables are presented showing a relation between ageing and occupational accidents both in frequency and in severity. These results are discussed in the light of a review of the literature on age-related accidents risks of three decades published in 1995. A framework is reported outlined for the purpose of identifying jobs in which ageing has either a preventive or an aggravating effect on accident occurrence. It is concluded that the safety problems of older workers may well be restricted to activities that are specifically "age-impaired". Age-related accident problems can also be specific in terms of injury type, as also demonstrated by some Italian data. Finally, it is emphasized that further research would benefit greatly from longitudinal designs, proper exposure measurements, intra-occupational investigations, consideration of the positive effect of relevant experience on occupational safety and greater precision about the type of accidents in focus. On the prevention side, a better attention to a global approach to safety problems (not only to technological aspects but also to immaterial ones, like work organization, psychosocial factors and so on) is pointed out.

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