Can Age Make You More Likely to Die in a Work Accident?

An Associated Press analysis of federal statistics shows that as age increases, so does the chance of work-related fatalities. This is despite the fact that overall work accident fatalities are on a decline.

The trend is worrisome, since baby boomers are increasingly shirking the traditional retirement age of 65. The United States government estimates that by 2024, nearly one-fourth of the labor market will be 65 and older.

It’s not a surprising conclusion that aging could make someone more likely to die in an accident. Gerontologists say that changes like gradually worsening vision, hearing impairment, reduced response time, balance issues and chronic medical or muscle or bone problems are some of the main age-related conditions that cause accidents.

Workplace Fatality Statistics

In 2015, almost 35 percent of fatal workplace accidents involved a worker over the age of 55.

The workplace fatality rate for all workers and for those 55 and older decreased by 22 percent between 2006 and 2015. But for older workers, the rate during that period was 50 to 65 percent higher than the rate for all workers.

During that time, the number of older workers in the labor market increased by 37 percent, compared to a 6 percent overall rise.

As far as the types of accidents leading to fatalities for older workers:

  • Fall-related fatalities rose 20 percent from 2011 to 2015
  • Contact with objects and equipment rose 17 percent
  • Transportation accidents increased 15 percent
  • Fires and explosions decreased 8 percent

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you have options. Speak to a wrongful death attorney to learn more.



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