A new report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed that overall work fatality incidents are down collectively. It also showed that job-related deaths have taken an uptick among people 55 and older. This means that people who remain employed into and past traditional retirement years may have a higher than average risk of dying at work either immediately after an incident or due to an accidental occurrence.
There are several reasons behind the increased chance of workplace fatalities among older Americans. The first is that more aging adults are staying in the workforce instead of retiring. Statistics indicate that instead of stepping back, people are moving forward and pushing their careers into their 60s, 70s, and beyond. Sometimes, this is due to financial instability and insecurity. Other times, people just want to continue their careers as long as they can. Consequently, more older workers are on the job, which increases the raw number who will fall victim to workplace accidents.
Another reason for older people dying on the job at a higher rate than younger people do is physiological. Science tells us that the human capacity to react and respond diminishes during each decade of life. As a worker ages, they usually lose reflexes. Even a small delay can mean the difference between dying or escaping a tragedy. If the worker becomes injured but does not immediately die, the injury eventually may lead to related health problems that can cascade into early death.
Not all jobs are likely to lead to fatalities as others. In fact, most on-the-job fatalities occur among farmers and commercial truck drivers. Tractor-related fatal incidents are especially prevalent in heavy agriculture areas where farming may be a generational way of life.
It is unlikely that Americans will suddenly stop working and revert to retiring at younger ages. This means that the numbers of job-related fatalities may remain steady or climb as Baby Boomers and Generation X members remain employed. However, all employees should avail themselves of methods to keep themselves safe and healthy to minimize a serious accident.
Both younger and older workers naturally deserve healthier on-the-job experiences with limited exposure to preventable risks. For that reason, every employee should take care to learn proper safety protocols, wear appropriate and approved personal protective equipment, and report dangerous situations and events immediately. Workers should also avail themselves of Workers’ Compensation benefits when they do get hurt while on the clock.
If you were injured in a serious on-the-job accident, contact the Philadelphia Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Gross & Kenny, LLP today. We will review your case and obtain the benefits you need to recover. For a free consultation, call us at 267-589-0090 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.
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