Aging Workforce

Increase In Fatal Occupational Injuries For Older Workers

In recent months, Americans have seen a staggering increase in the number of people either working from home or without a job at all. With these new circumstances, it is safe to assume that workplace injuries and fatalities have drastically declined. While it is true that U.S. workplace fatalities decreased even before the novel coronavirus surfaced, one particular demographic is actually seeing a rise in workplace fatalities lately. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), fatal occupational injuries of workers aged 55 and over have reached a high in recent years.

Older Workers at Greater Risk of Workplace Injuries

A few of the contributing factors to the rise in older worker workplace deaths include a general rising population of Americans age 55 and over and a higher workforce participation rate by those in this age group as well. Data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries program of the BLS has shown the amount of U.S. workers age 55 and over more than doubled from 1992 to 2017.

Unfortunately, an older labor force means when workplace accidents and injuries do occur they are more likely to be serious or even fatal. What exactly increases older workers’ risk of workplace injuries or deaths? Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Decreased muscle strength
  • Vision and hearing loss
  • Frequent falls
  • Prolonged health conditions
  • Chronic pain

Preventing Workplace Injuries In Older Workers

How can workplaces help alleviate the risks older workers face while on the job? A number of strategies can be implemented in order to help minimize and prevent workplace injuries for older workers, including:

  • Allowing flexibility in schedules, breaks, location, and responsibilities for older workers.
  • Offering regular safety trainings and skill building opportunities.
  • Protecting against physical hazards in the workplace, such as uneven grounds, wet or slick floors, and other slip-and-fall threats.
  • Reassuring self-care, medical visits, and healthy lifestyles for all workers.
  • Encouraging active wellness programs to help with work-related stress.
  • Providing a safe environment for workers to ask for help if needed.

Houston Workplace Injury Help

While older workers tend to be more cautious but also more experienced, the risk of an accident is ever present. Texas employees have the legal right to a safe work environment – no matter their age – as workplace injuries can be life threatening for a person within any age group. If you or a loved one experienced a fatal or serious injury at work, we can help. Contact the workplace accident attorneys at Adame Garza today for a free consultation.