More Injuries On the Job Among the Elderly

Americans are faced with an aging population as the baby boomers are maturing into their senior years. In the past, at this stage of life, people retired and began to take time for themselves. With the housing and stock market downturns, however, many seniors have lost their retirement savings and are faced with the necessity to keep working. When seniors postpone retirement, they can meet with some unpleasant consequences.

Healthday.com has published an article highlighting one of these consequences: the increase in workplace injury for seniors. The percentage of injuries in people over the age of 55 has climbed from 12 % in 2003 to 17% today. The article stresses that seniors’ risk for incurring injury is not significantly higher than that of other groups, but the severity of the injury can be greater. Older workers are more prone to falls that result in fractures, such as debilitating hip fractures, than their younger counterparts. Officials are showing concern in reaction to the new trend.

“There is an urgent need for us to look at the safety and health needs of older workers, because they are growing. Employers and others should take steps to help protect the older worker,” said report co-author Dawn N. Castillo, chief of the surveillance and field investigations branch in the division of safety research at the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

If you are injured while on the job in Oregon, you are entitled to workers compensation, but even more importantly, you are entitled to a safe work environment. If you are senior in Oregon and have been injured at your workplace, there might have been more that your employer could have done to keep you safe. Your employer is liable for your safety while you are under contract, at their office, or performing duties for them. You may want to contact a Portland injury attorney to understand your rights and legal options.