It would appear as if there is an increased reluctance to retire at the traditional age for retirement, leading to increased numbers of older people staying in the workforce. The United States government projects that, by 2024, a quarter of the work force will consist of workers past the traditional age of retirement. The on\-the\-job injuries suffered by older workers can potentially be more serious in nature, and it has been shown that, while there is an overall decrease in work-related deaths, there is an increase in workplace fatalities of older workers.
Older people in the workforce, in California, as across the U.S., may find that they are more vulnerable to suffering serious workplace injuries because of the physical changes brought about by age. Aging leads to a gradual decrease in hearing and vision, a slower response time and problems with balance among others. All of these factors lead to a situation where greater protection may be needed for workers in the age group of 55 – 70.
Employers have a duty to ensure the safety of all workers in their employ, including older workers. Statistics indicate that older workers are vulnerable to fall-related injuries, injuries caused by contact with equipment, and/or objects and injuries relating to transportation. As there is a gradual increase of older workers remaining in the workplace, employers will have to take cognizance of the need to protect against the possibility of injury to these older workers.
California labor law provides clear stipulations regarding the payment of workers' compensation benefits no matter the age of the claimant. Anyone who has suffered an on-the-job injury and is unclear if a workers' compensation claim can be filed, will likely gain from consulting with an attorney experienced in handling workers' compensation claims. The attorney is in an ideal position to evaluate the circumstances surrounding a claim and explain the legal options available.
Source: insurancejournal.com, "Older Workers at Greater Risk of Dying in Workplace Accidents", Maria Ines Zamudio and Michelle Minkoff, Aug. 2, 2017