A workplace accident can dramatically impact the lives of workers across all ages and professions. But while on-the-job fatality rates are falling in New York and across the United States, recent statistics indicate that one age group in particular is experiencing an increase in fatality rates: workers age 55 and older.
With more and more older workers choosing – or simply needing – to work past retirement age, it's critical for employers to adapt to the new reality. If an employer fails to take the steps necessary to keep workers safe and a loved one is injured or killed, a New York City workers’ compensation attorney can help secure the financial compensation you and your loved ones deserve.
What age groups are most at risk of a workplace injury?
According to an Associated Press analysis of federal workplace accident statistics, more than one third of all workplace fatalities involved a worker age 55 or older in 2015.
What makes this data especially worrisome is that while on-the-job fatality rates fell more than twenty two percent nationwide between 2006 and 2015, fatality rates among workers aged 55 and older did not follow this trend. In fact, the fatality rates for this age group increased.
The Associated Press analysis suggests a correlation between these on-the-job fatalities and the amount of retirement-age workers who have chosen to continue to work full- or part-time. The amount of working adults age 55 and over has grown 37 percent over the duration of the study, the highest increase of any one age group.
The study also notes that while statistical evidence proves that fatality rates among older workers has increased, researchers also were quick to note that it isn't just workers aged 55 and older that need protection or accommodations. Workplace safety applies to workers of all ages.
What types of accidents are most dangerous for older workers?
In addition to looking at the number of accidents affecting older workers, the Associated Press also shed light on the types of accidents leading to fatal workplace injuries:
- Fall down accidents rose 20 percent.
- Struck by objects and equipment accidents rose 17 percent.
- Transportation-related accidents rose 15 percent.
- Explosion and fire-related accidents decreased 8 percent.
The Associated Press analysis also noted that in 2013, nearly half of older workers reported their jobs required physical effort and more than a third reported difficulties completing physical tasks.
With so much evidence documenting the safety needs of workers age 55 and older, it's more important than ever before that employers take every precaution necessary to keep their employees safe from harm.
But when employers choose to ignore safety concerns on any level, regardless of whether it leads to a severe back injury or an on-the-job fatality, accident victims and their loved ones have a right to fair compensation for that workplace accident.