Workers Over 55 Far More Likely to Suffer Fatal Workplace Accidents

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Older Workers at Much Higher Risk of Fatal Work Accidents

Fatal Work Accidents Higher Among Older Workers

In August of 2017, the Associated Press reported that older workers are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases. But as the baby boomer generation chooses to keep working beyond the age of 65 the Bureau of Labor believes employers will see more workplace mishaps turn into serious injuries or potentially fatal accidents.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, 4,821 people – more than 13 per day – died while doing their jobs and about 35 percent of the fatal workplace accidents involved a worker 55 and older. In most states, the fatal accident rates for older workers remain consistently higher than comparable rates for all workers. There were 43 worker related deaths reported by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration in 2016. At least half of those individuals were age 55 or older with a majority of those deaths caused by a fall.

Key Findings of the 2015 Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries:

  • Annual total of 4,836 fatal workplace injuries in 2015 was the highest since 5,214 fatal injuries in 2008.
  • Workers age 65 years and older incurred 650 fatal injuries, the second-largest number for the group since.
  • The overall rate of fatal work injury for workers in 2015, at 3.38 per 100,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, was lower than the 2014 rate of 3.43.
  • Roadway incident fatalities were up 9 percent from 2014 totals, accounting for over one-quarter of the fatal occupational injuries in 2015.
  • Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers recorded 745 fatal injuries, the most of any occupation.
  • The 937 fatal work injuries in the private construction industry in 2015 represented the highest total since 975 cases in 2008.
  • Fatal injuries in the private oil and gas extraction industries were 38 percent lower in 2015 than 2014.
  • Seventeen percent of decedents were contracted by and performing work for another business or government entity in 2015 rather than for their direct employer at the time of the incident.
  • Hispanic or Latino workers incurred 903 fatal injuries in 2015—the most since 937 fatalities in 2007.

Although most workplace deaths are highly preventable, aging specialist say changes in a gradual worsening of vision and hearing impairment, reduced response time, balance issues and chronic medical or muscle or bone problems like arthritis can contribute to the higher fatality (and injury rate) for older workers.

Michigan’s Aging Workforce Has Rights

If a loved one has been killed on the job, it is essential you contact a Michigan wrongful death lawyer to make sure you receive the benefits and compensation you are entitled to. For over 40 years, The Lee Steinberg Law Firm, P.C. has helped Michigan families win their wrongful death case and collect the compensation they deserve.

Please call Lee Free and Michigan wrongful death lawyers at 1-800-LEE-FREE (1-800-533-3733) or fill out the Free Case Evaluation Form so we can answer any questions you may have about Michigan wrongful death cases.