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Demographics changing as more older people keep working

More and more workers in New Jersey and around the country are choosing to remain at their jobs longer than past generations used to. In the past, the participation rate of older workers would go down. Today, the 'baby boomer" generation is steadily increasing their work participation rate while the participation rates of all other age groups are declining.

As the workforce ages, some analysts wonder how the changing demographics will affect workplace safety. Despite concerns about an increase in on-the-job injuries, older workers are actually less likely to be injured at work. According to 2014 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers at or over the age of 65 were injured at a rate of 94.2 injuries per 10,000 full-time workers. In comparison, the workplace injury rate for all age groups combined during that year was 107.1 injuries per 10,000 full-time workers.

Although older workers sustain fewer workplace injuries, they can be injured more severely in workplace accidents and take longer to recover from their injuries. In 2014, the median injury recovery time for a worker at or over the age of 65 was 17 days while the youngest workers took just four days to recover. Older workers are also much more likely to be injured in slips, trips and falls than younger workers.

People who are injured on the job may be eligible to seek compensation for their lost working days and medical expenses by filing a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's insurance coverage. An attorney who has experience with these matters can often assist an eligible worker in compiling the required supporting documentation and ensuring that the claim is filed in a timely manner.

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