Three Years Later, Analyses Reveals That More & Older Americans Are Still Dying On the Job
While fatality rates in the workplace have declined for most age groups since 2006, those covering ages 55 or older have grown, and their occupational fatality rate remains much higher than anyone else’s. According to the latest statistics published on the issue, by 2017, fatal occupational injuries incurred by older workers constituted almost 40 percent of all injuries, and Texas – alongside California – had the highest number of fatal occupational injuries to older workers between 1992 and 2017.
What is especially disturbing about the latest studies/statistics is that they have not unearthed anything new; in fact, we have known that deadly accidents have been hitting older workers at higher rates than their colleagues since at least 2017, and not enough has been done to address the issue.
What’s Causing These Fatal Injuries? Why?
According to the research, the biggest cause of injury and/or death in the workplace for this particular age group are traffic accidents, being struck by an object, being hit as a pedestrian, or falling to a lower level. Research shows that this is because older workers are more likely to die from lingering injuries days, weeks, months, or years after a workplace incident because they have more difficulty recovering after initial injuries and are more likely to suffer from particular injuries, such as hip fractures.
Yet even taking into account that the number of older workers has increased, their occupational fatality rate remains much higher than other age groups, and, according to researchers, this could also be due to, overall, having different employment patterns and job tasks as well.
Is It an Issue with A Particular Industry, Or The Country Itself?
A number of these workplace fatalities are occurring in the farming industry, where older farmers are injured or killed when trucks or tractors tip over: In 2017, older workers accounted for 80 percent of the workplace fatalities in this field, and most of these farmers were self-employed. However, it is also curious that, overall, the US has a much higher occupational fatality rate than most other economically-similar countries, and those 55 and older are much more likely to still be working here, in general, than in other countries. According to statistics, just since 1985, for those 65 and older, the labor force participation rate has increased from around 10 percent to 20 percent, and for those 75 and older, it has increased from four percent to almost 10 percent.
If You or A Loved One Has Been Injured or Killed On the Job in Texas, Contact Our Attorneys for Help
Employers and those whose job it is to ensure that the workplace is safe should use this information to best meet the needs of older workers and keep them safe in the workplace. If you or a loved one has suffered from a workplace injury or fatality here in Texas, contact Houston workplace injury attorney Sue E. West to find out how you can receive a full recovery for your injury.