Are older workers more likely to die in workplace accidents? A research fellow studying aging and workforce issues with the Associated Press published an analysis yesterday, reporting that “[o]lder people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases.”

According to the AP’s analysis of federal occupational injury statistics, the rate of fatal accidents among workers 55 and older during the study period was “50 percent to 65 percent higher than for all workers.” The article notes that this trend holds true for many individual states, as well.

The report notes that certain types of accidents increased among these older workers between 2011 and 2015, including:

  • Fall-related fatalities up 20%
  • Contact with objects and equipment up 17%
  • Transportation accidents up 15%

Companies with older workforces should take note. As baby boomers age, many remain employed, making it likely that this issue will receive even greater attention. It would not be surprising if regulators follow up with educational campaigns – and even enforcement – to focus safety efforts on an aging workforce.

For additional resources, the AP article notes that NIOSH’s new National Center for Productive Aging and Work “is pushing for changes in the workplace to make it safer for older workers.”