Older workers who have been such a vital part of the economy in the United States are more likely to die in workplace accidents than other workers, according to an Associated Press report published in the Albuquerque Journal. There is concern that this trend will continue or get worse, as those in the Baby Boomer generation generally stay healthier and work well past the traditional retirement age of 65. According to the U.S. government, 25 percent of the labor market will consist of older workers by 2024.
Aging comes with many physical changes that could cause an increase of the seriousness of a workplace injury. As we age, our hearing and vision get worse, and our reflexes are. Older workers are also more likely to have chronic medical conditions, or chronic muscle, joint, and nerve problems. This means that when an older person gets injured, there are more factors at play than with most younger workers.
In 2015, the AP calculated that approximately 35 percent of all workplace fatalities were workers aged 55 and up. However, it should be noted that overall fatalities at the workplace went down for all workers between 2006 and 2015. That’s a drop of nearly 15 percent, and it includes older workers as well. With the rate at which they are dying on the job, however, older workers are still 50 to 65 percent more likely to die on the job than other workers. The amount of total fatalities between 2005 and 2015 dropped from 5,480 to 4,836, which the number of older workers who died in workplace accidents rose from 1,562 to 1,681.
Almost every category of injury type saw an increase in fatalities among older works from 2015 and the 5 years prior. Fall fatalities went up by 20%. Transportation rose 15%, while contact with machinery rose by 17%. The expectation is that these numbers will continue to rise as the workforce gets older.
While worker of all ages deserve for their employers to make safety a bigger focus, it is even more important for older workers who are making up more of our workforce. There is a need for more fall prevention measures and an increased focus on upgrading safety skills. Many older workers started their jobs before safety training and regulations evolved into what they are now. They mean that they may not be up to speed on how to operate equipment safely, or that there are new guidelines for certain tasks, such as working from heights. This ongoing training is vital to fill the knowledge gap that older workers might have.
If you’ve been injured in an accident at work, it can be stressful and intimidating to deal with all the extra hassles that come on top of simply resting and recovering. A personal injury attorney in Albuquerque, NM can help you navigate those headaches, fight for your rights, and get you the compensation you deserve.

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