Navigation Links
Injuries Among Older Workers on the Rise: CDC

By Steven Reinberg
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 28 (HealthDay News) -- More and more Americans over age 55 are working later in life, and this means work-related injuries in this group continue to climb, up from 12 percent in 2003 to 17 percent in the latest tally, federal health officials report.

Although older workers do not have an increased risk of injury overall compared to younger workers, they are at higher risk of falls from stairs, ladders or heights and for specific types of injuries, including fractures and hip injury, the researchers said.

Unless workplaces keep the safety of older workers in mind, injuries will mount as the number of older workers rises from 19 percent to a quarter of the workforce by 2018, according to the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"There is an urgent need for us to look at the safety and health needs of older workers, because they are growing. Employers and others should take steps to help protect the older worker," said report co-author Dawn N. Castillo, chief of the surveillance and field investigations branch in the division of safety research at the CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

"We thought it is important to look at injury data to be able to assess if there might be some specific needs in terms of safety and health for the older worker," she added.

Castillo stressed that the overall rate of injuries suffered by older workers is the same -- or even lower -- than other age groups.

But since the rates of falls, fractures and hip injuries are higher among older workers, "this points to the need of employers to be aware of these risks and take steps to improve safety of the older workforce," she said.

Improving safety for older workers will also improve safety for all workers, Castillo said.

The report was published in the April 29 issue of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Details for the report were gathered from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and include all types of workers -- from industrial to office and retail and service workers, Castillo said. Many also work in health care and in agriculture. The report also includes statistics for state and local government workers, she said.

In 2009, there were an estimated 210,830 non-fatal work injuries and illnesses among workers 55 and older, which resulted in lost workdays, the researchers found. Most of the injuries (94 percent) were the result of trauma, with chronic injuries, such as back pain and illnesses, making up the rest of the cases.

Men, who make up 52 percent of older workers, accounted for 55 percent of the injuries and also stayed away from work longer than women (14 versus nine days, respectively), according to the report.

Among older workers, rates for falls on the same level -- such as falling to a floor, on a walkway, or the ground or against objects such as desks, walls, or doors -- increased steadily with age.

However, rates for being "struck by or against, or caught in or crushed by various tools, equipment, machinery, parts, or materials decreased with age," the report found.

Broken bones accounted for 11 percent of injuries among older workers and were associated with as many as 42 days of missed work. Most of the fractures were to ankles, arms, feet, legs, fingers and hips, the researchers found.

Employers can help reduce injuries by removing tripping hazards and install slip-resistant floors, Castillo said. These and other measures may help reduce injuries and stem the rising tide of injuries among older workers, she said.

Federal researchers also found that work-related highway traffic accidents were the leading cause of fatalities for both workers and the general population, according to another report in the same issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. A total of 8,173 workers died in highway accidents in the United States between 2003 and 2008, representing 24 percent of all occupational deaths during that period, with the highest rates among workers over 65, followed by those 55 to 64.

Most of these accidents involved truckers killed in semi-truck accidents, including jackknifing. The majority of the fatalities were among people who worked in transportation, warehousing and utilities. The second highest rate of deaths were among state and federal government workers, according to the report.

Employers should make road traffic safety a priority, enforcing policies that require use of safety belts and prohibit unsafe behaviors such as impaired driving and use of cell phones and other mobile devices "that might distract the driver while the vehicle is in motion," the report concluded.

More information

For more on occupational injuries, visit the CDC.

SOURCES: Dawn N. Castillo, M.P.H., Chief, Surveillance and Field Investigations Branch, Division of Safety Research, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; April 29, 2011, CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Watch your step: Elevator-related injuries and older adults
2. Fitness a Factor in Snow Shoveling Injuries
3. Girl Softball Players Suffering More Shoulder Injuries
4. Special issue of NeuroRehabilitation focuses on hypoxic-ischemic brain injuries
5. Morgan & Morgan's Personal Injury Attorneys Provide Information About Yaz, Yasmin, and Ocella Injuries and Potential Health Risks
6. Youth baseball throwing arm injuries are rising dramatically
7. Pediatric sports injuries: the silent epidemic
8. Youth Baseball Injuries Becoming More Common
9. Jump in Kids Sports Injuries Due to Overuse
10. Severe Injuries From ATV Accidents on the Rise
11. More Lower Extremity, Orthopaedic-Related Injuries Occur When Playing on FieldTurf
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Injuries Among Older Workers on the Rise: CDC 
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... The recently published 32nd ... System (NPDS) reveals that in 2014, someone called a poison center about every ... of which were human exposure cases. , The American Association of Poison Control ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... promoting breast and prostate cancer education and prevention—is joining forces with the award-winning ... philanthropy and Hollywood elegance on December 7, 2015 at the Union League of ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... Reports magazine, quoted Michael Hansen, Ph.D., a senior scientist at Consumer Reports as ... more so for a child’s exposure limits. , The original Nov 2015 CR ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... An inventor from Charlottesville, Va., ... womb. "My last baby had high blood pressure due to loud noises," she said, ... their babies from noise pollution as well as radio waves and microwaves." , The ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... ... November 30, 2015 , ... ... automated breast density assessment and enterprise analytics solutions, here at the 101st ... (South Hall booth #2377). Volpara’s quantitative breast imaging tools enable personalized measurements ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2015)... Nov. 30, 2015  PTS Diagnostics, the U.S.-based manufacturer ... analyzers, A1CNow ® systems, and PTS Detect™ ... of patents that will propel the company into the ... Europe . The technology is a ... those on smartphones and tablets, and uses test strip ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Oramed Pharmaceuticals ... focused on the development of oral drug delivery systems, ... agreements valued at up to $50,000,000 with Hefei Tianhui Incubator of Technologies ... oral insulin capsule, ORMD-0801, in China ... Macau . The agreements were signed at ...
(Date:11/30/2015)... , Nov. 30, 2015 Cumberland Pharmaceuticals (CPIX), today ... live at on December 3, 2015. TIME: ... TIME: 3:15p.m. ET LINK: --> ... --> ... where investors are invited to ask the company questions in ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: