Healthy Aging for a Sustainable Workforce

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Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics

Summary Statement

A report identifying important issues that revolve around construction’s aging workforce and its needs on the job and off.

Conference Sponsors


  • CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)
  • Association of Occupational and Environmental Health Clinics (AOEC)
  • Society for Occupational and Environmental Health (SOEH)
  • AARP
  • Work and Health Research Center, University of Maryland School of Nursing (WHRC)
  • Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)
  • American Public Health Association (APHA)

About the Co-Sponsors:

CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, formerly known as The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights (CPWR), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by the Building and Construction Trades Department, AFL-CIO. Since the inception of research initiatives in 1990, CPWR has become an international leader in applied research, training, and service to the construction industry.

NIOSH is the United States federal agency responsible for conducting research and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness. NIOSH is part of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) within the US Department of Health and Human Services.

AOEC is a non-profit membership organization established in 1987. Its members are a multidisciplinary group of physicians, nurses, industrial hygienists and other occupations concerned with occupational and environmental health. AOEC focuses on the prevention of work and environmentally related injury and illness. One of its recent significant accomplishments was the development of clinical guidelines for adult lead-exposure cases.

SOEH was founded in 1972 by Irving J. Selikoff as a multi-faceted forum for academics, government policy makers, and industry and union representatives to formulate positions on public policy issues. It is a non-profit society that has sponsored scientific and public health policy conferences on time issues. The most recent conference, in partnership with the AOEC, was on mold-related health effects the findings of which were used by sponsoring agencies to help respond to the aftermath of recent hurricanes.

AARP’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for all as we age, leading positive social change and delivering value to members through information, advocacy and service.

WHRC was established in 2005 to provide a forum for multidisciplinary faculty and students conducting research focused on the health of working populations. The Center’s overarching research theme is “organization of work” and its impact on health, with a focus on health and service sector workers. It is dedicated to improving health through research, education, advocacy, and practice directed at the prevention of occupational causes of illnesses and injuries. A critical component of the Center’s research is our focus on understudied and underserved workers and communities and our partnerships with organizations and individuals who represent these workers. Current research projects include those examining: workplace violence, stress, needlestick injury, musculoskeletal diseases, depression, and health and social services work environments.

OSHA’s mission is to prevent work-related injuries, illnesses, and deaths. Since the agency was created in 1971, occupational deaths have been cut by 62% and injuries have declined by 42%. Congress created OSHA under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, which was signed by President Richard M. Nixon on December 29, 1970.

APHA is the oldest, largest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world and has been working to improve public health since 1872. The Association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States.

Planning Committee:*

Denny Dobbin, SOEH (conference planning committee chair)

Sue Dong, CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training

Jim Grosch, NIOSH

Michael Hodgson, Veterans Administration

Katherine Kirkland, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC)

Jane Lipscomb, Work and Health Research Center, University of Maryland School of Nursing

Kathleen McPhaul, Work and Health Research Center, University of Maryland School of Nursing

Jim Platner, CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training

Sara Rix, AARP

Sarah Shiffert, SOEH

Michael Silverstein, University of Washington

Mick Smyer, Bucknell University

Pete Stafford, CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training

Gregory Wagner, NIOSH and Harvard University

David Wegman, University of Massachusetts, Lowell

Deborah Weinstock, MDB, Inc. (conference planning committee chair)

* Listed Alphabetically

This conference is made possible by funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, grant no. 1 R13 OH00 9206-01 (NCTE) and the CPWR - Center for Construction Research and Training through NIOSH Cooperative Agreement OH008307. The contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of CPWR or NIOSH.


Wegman, D. H. and McGee, J.P., eds., “Health and Safety Needs of Older Workers,” NAS, Washington, DC 2004,

Economic Policy Institute, Older Americans in the Recession: More are staying in the workforce, more are losing their jobs, Emily Garr, February 4, 2009, EPI Issue Brief #251.

U.S. Government Accountability Office. 2007 Testimony of David Walker, Comptroller General of the United States, Some Best Practices and Strategies for Engaging and Retaining Older Workers before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. GAO report GAO07-433T.

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