The aging national workforce has already called on some companies to address safety concerns, and New Jersey employers may soon be following suit. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted that workers over the age of 55 will make up almost a quarter of U.S. employees by 2024. In 2010, that age group only made up 19 percent of the workforce. While older workers may have more experience, they also have a higher risk of being a work accident victim.
Older workers bring value to the workplace that compensates for the increased risk, according to a construction director for the Maryland Transportation Authority. Without giving up the benefits of an older worker’s experience, steps can be taken by employers to expand the definition of unsafe working conditions and reduce the risk of workplace injuries for this demographic.
BMW is one company serving as a role model in risk reduction efforts. The company addressed the problems of accidents and repetitive stress injuries by changing its factory flooring and incorporating other ergonomic changes suggested by employees. The company also began rotating workers between more and less physically demanding tasks.
Statistics show that older workers have a higher risk of being injured on the job. For such injured workers, this can mean lost wages and increased medical expenses. An employer-led or OSHA investigation into the conditions that caused an accident can take time, and employees may be left to stress over finances while waiting for processing of workers’ compensation claims. An attorney with experience in this aspect of employment law may be able to help recovering employees access workers’ compensation faster and garner complete coverage of expenses.