Older workers face higher risk of occupational fatalities

More older Americans are dying on the job. And according to a recent report, their deaths far outnumber those of younger workers. While the data shows that occupational deaths for all workers dropped by nearly 22%, the rate of deadly incidents for workers 55 and older are on the rise.  Some say that’s because baby boomers, especially those in manual labor jobs, are working well past the typical retirement age of 65.

While age shouldn’t play into a worker’s performance, mental and physical aptitude can decline as people get older, which can increase the risk of an accident. In one instance, a 56-year-old man died when he fell 25 feet while working for Testa Produce in Chicago.

What’s causing older workers to get injured and killed on the job?

A study from the Associated Press examined the uptick and causes of occupational injury and fatality rates among older adults. According to the data, they found that:

  • Fall-related deaths increased by 20%
  • Transportation injuries increased by 15%
  • Contact with dangerous equipment increased by 17%

The study only covers incidents caused by occupational or technological errors. It does not account for natural causes like strokes or heart-attacks.

The pain may last longer for aging employees

People’s ability to recover from injuries can deteriorate with age. Because of this, it may take older workers longer to fully heal from their injuries.

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