Every year, more Americans are working well past the retirement age of 65. In fact, the federal government estimates that by 2024, one-quarter of employed adults in the U.S. workforce will be seniors. Questions arise as to how to keep older workers safe considering the unique health concerns and limitations that come with age. In 2015 alone, 35 percent of job-related accidents involved workers age 55 or older.
Even as workplace fatality rates continue to decline since 2006, deaths among baby boomers are on the rise. Workplace safety advocates have been searching for ways to encourage seniors to work and stay productive well into their golden years while also making their safety a top priority.
A Closer Look at Senior Worker Fatalities
According to an Associated Press (AP) analysis of federal data, the number of fatal work accidents fell 22 percent between 2006 and 2015. Yet, among senior workers, workplace fatalities rose from 50 percent to 65 percent during that same time period.
One reason for the increase is there are simply more senior employees than ever in the American labor force. While seniors among the population as a whole rose 6 percent, in the workforce, they increased by 37 percent. The AP used data collected from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Census for Fatal Occupational Injuries for their analysis, excluding cases of workers who died of natural causes.
The data showed significant increases in:
- Contact with objects and equipment
- Fall-related accidents
- Fires and explosions
- Transportation accidents
Why Older Workers are More Vulnerable to Injury
Some of the changes most of us will experience as we get older also make us more susceptible to a workplace accident and potentially serious injuries as a result. These may include:
- Balance issues
- Chronic health or medical problems
- Declining hearing
- Decreased response time
- Worsening vision
Separate research on the subject found almost half of older workers said their jobs involved physical effort all or most of their workday, and 36 percent of them said it was becoming harder to perform these physical tasks as they got older.
South Carolina is one of the states where injuries among older workers are increasing. While many seniors work to stay active and social, many others work to support themselves and their families. When a job illness or injury renders them unable to work, they lose crucial income and face daunting medical expenses for their care and recovery.
Columbia Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Help Older Workers Recover Compensation for Work Injuries
The Columbia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. advocate for injured workers of all ages in every industry to recover the benefits they need to provide for themselves as they recuperate. Call 866-881-8623 or contact us online to get started today. We have several offices locations in South Carolina to serve clients in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, and Newberry County.