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Older workers experiencing higher fatality rate on the job

Population demographics in Texas and across the country indicate that the population is aging. On-the-job injury and fatality data from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health have revealed a corresponding increase in fatalities among older workers.

A preliminary look at figures for 2014 by the Bureau for Labor Statistics showed that for every 100,000 workers, 10.2 workers above the age of 64 died because of workplace accidents for every 100,000 workers. The rate of fatalities among the entire workforce was 3.3 deaths for every 100,000 workers. In 2008, 580 people age 65 and above died on the job. In 2014, the number of deaths within this age group had increased to 656.

An economist from the Bureau of Labor Statistics explained that members of the baby boom generation continue to remain employed beyond the age of 55 more often than their predecessors. By 2022, it is estimated that approximately 25 percent of all workers will be 55 or older. With the alarming rise in workplace deaths among older workers, safety experts recommend that employers increase their safety training with these workers in mind.

Workplace hazards vary greatly by employer and industry, but every employer has a responsibility to maintain workplace safety. When a person is hurt on the job, then the workers' compensation insurance system is in place to provide medical benefits and sometimes payment for lost income. If the accident prompts an investigation with citations and fines, the injured worker might want to consult an attorney. Filing a lawsuit might be a viable option if negligence occurred. However, suing an employer would disqualify the person from receiving workers' compensation benefits. An attorney might help a person decide among options for collecting compensation.

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