Combine lower bone densities and equilibrium issues with vision problems and it seems logical to assume that older workers would suffer from more on-the-job injuries and raise the rates of any employers’ workers compensation. Funny thing is, statistics don’t necessarily reflect that.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, in 1999, workers ages 55 and above reported only a slightly higher absence rate than the rest of the working population, and the odds of an older worker suffering an occupational injury that resulted in lost work time were relatively slim. Workers between the ages of 35 and 44 reported the greatest percentage of injuries and overall, nearly three times the number of injuries of their 55+ colleagues. And the group that reported the bulk of the work-related injuries? Those strong, healthy 25 to 54 year olds.
However, when an older worker suffered an on-the-job injury, the number of work days lost was substantially higher than for a younger worker
This article originally appeared in The Ergonomics Report™ on 2003-11-01.