Older employees involved in more fatal workplace accidents

Many people in California and around the country continue working well past the normal retirement age of 65. In fact, government statistics predict that 25 percent of the labor market will be comprised of older workers by 2024. Unfortunately, reports also show that older employees are more likely to die in workplace accidents than their younger counterparts.

Workplace fatalities are decreasing overall, yet the rate of fatal accidents on the job for workers over the age of 55 comprise 35 percent of the total reported nationwide. Experts cite the physical changes that come with aging as contributing factors to the increase in fatalities for this demographic. These changes include balance issues, chronic bone problems, hearing impairment and worsening vision.

Advocates from an aging center warn against assuming all older workers are the same. Older people have a wide range of mental and physical abilities. Discrimination can result if everyone in a certain age group is lumped together. Greater attention should be paid to safety in the workplace for everyone, not just older employees.

Fatalities were categorized and the number of each type was reviewed from 2011 and 2015. Fall-related deaths, transportation accidents and contact with objects and equipment all increased substantially. However, accidents involving fires and explosions for this group decreased by 8 percent. In California, the rate of fatal accidents among older workers was 60 percent higher than the rate for all workers.

All employees in California have the right to a safe working environment, regardless of age. Should employees be injured in workplace accidents, they can contact a workers' compensation attorney. An experienced lawyer will work with clients to ensure they receive all benefits to which they are entitled.

Source:, "Older people dying on job at higher rate than all workers," Aug. 2, 2017

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