Read Time

3 minutes

TL;DR

  • As many older workers grow closer to retirement age, more employees are going to be required to replace those lost to retirement.
  • It’s estimated that 50% of those employed in the engineering and geosciences professions will be eligible for retirement in the coming years.
  • Being able to provide the enhanced training required in all areas of HSE to compensate for a lack of experience in the newer workforce has become a prime challenge.
  • New workers tend to be more safety-conscious and are more familiar with procedural concepts than older workers and they tend to be more accepting of dynamic alterations in programs and safety policies.
  • However, a newer, younger workforce won’t be able to immediately replace the wealth of valued expertise that comes with a seasoned, older workforce.
  • Consider outsourcing your HSE efforts to a company that’s better equipped to ensure all work is done safely, securely and successfully. This allows you to make up for the lack of experience posed by a younger workforce while allocating your business’ time, energy and resources to the specific job at hand.

 

As many older workers grow closer to retirement age, more employees are going to be required to replace those lost to retirement. This is particularly true for those who are in or near the generation of baby boomers. Thus, this “Great Crew Change” represents both unique challenges and opportunities to business, especially when viewed in reference to HSE. Understanding these challenges and opportunities in relation to your HSE efforts can put your business in a better position to meet these challenges head-on, while also taking advantage of any opportunities as they present themselves.

 

The Challenges

The most obvious challenge presented by the Great Crew Change is the loss of valuable experience in the workplace. It’s estimated the 50 percent of those employed in the engineering and geosciences professions will be eligible for retirement in the coming years. While this loss pertains to any and all aspects of the job, it has an even more profound impact on HSE as experience often provides a level of intuition that can lead to advanced warning of potential hazards on the jobsite. More specifically, a wealth of experience brings knowledge of what to do and not to do in particular circumstances and situations.

Thus, a prime challenge presented is being able to provide the enhanced training required in all areas of HSE to compensate for a lack of experience in the newer workforce. An additional challenge is to ensure there is no patchwork safety methodology created between the older workforce and the newer one that would degrade HSE compliance and present opportunities for mistakes or failure.

 

The Opportunities

It’s important to address the challenges posed by The Great Crew Change as opportunities in order to help your business flourish in the coming years. New workers tend to be more safety-conscious and are more familiar with procedural concepts than older workers, due to the training being fresher in their minds.

It can also be said that they tend to be more accepting of dynamic alterations in programs and safety policies and less tied to the older methodologies. In other words, they are less likely to follow the mantra of,  “This is how we’ve always done it.” Additionally, incentive-based safety programs have a higher chance of success with many members of the newer workforce. When all is combined, this new workforce allows for a more comprehensive and complete HSE program and with potentially longer lasting effects.

However, a newer, younger workforce still won’t be able to immediately replace the wealth of valued expertise and guidance that comes with a seasoned, older workforce. Consider opting to outsource your HSE efforts to a company that’s better equipped to ensure all work is done safely, securely and successfully. By putting these efforts in the hands of a company that only handles HSE oversight and management, you can make up for the lack of experience posed by a younger workforce while allocating your business’ time, energy and resources to the specific job at hand.

With the growing number of retirees, the impact on HSE programs and policies cannot be understated. Preparing for and addressing the challenges presented by this change – as well as positioning the company to take advantage of any opportunities – can allow a company to manage this “Great Crew Change” with ease. However, one of the best ways of determining the right course of action to meet these challenges and to gain the benefits would be to take advantage of an outside perspective that understands the intricacies and balances required for a proper HSE program and how this massive shift in labor will impact those programs. See how hiring a consultant can help your bottom line with our FREE cost calculator!