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Older Workers (55 And Older) Are Less Likely to Suffer Serious Injuries on The Job 

older workers have less injuries image

Occupation is the most significant risk factor when it comes to workplace injuries. Sectors with the highest rates of fatal injury are agriculture, construction, waste disposal and recycling, and offshore fishing, to name a few. Roughly 142 workers were killed at work in 2020/21. 441,000 sustained non-fatal injuries. Accidents at work are identified as a major problem throughout the UK. Legal compliance is the most notable driver for occupational safety and health at the corporate level. Preventing accidents at work makes good economic sense for society, not to mention that it’s good business practice for companies.

There seems to be a connection between age and injuries at work. More exactly, older workers (55 and older) have a lower incidence of job-related injuries as opposed to younger workers. Future research is necessary to better understand why older age is consistently associated with better outcomes in terms of work-related injury. The right to file for workers’ compensation benefits depends on the employment status, so it has nothing to do with age. It’s possible to pursue a third-party personal injury claim against a contractor, subcontractor, property owner, negligent driver, and so on. 

Why Are Older Workers Injured Less Frequently Than Younger Workers? 

People who are older tend to experience fewer accidents at work because they’re more experienced, mature, and mindful of workplace hazards. The experience accumulated over the years helps them stay safe. Younger workers have higher accident rates because they’re reckless, they’re not familiar with workplace hazards, and they have dangerous jobs. When sudden or unexpected accidents do take place and lead to injury, whether physical or mental, it takes longer for older workers to heal. If the same accident were experienced by a younger worker, it would result in greater severity of the injury and higher cost. 

We tend to assume that older workers are at an increased risk of being injured on the job, but it’s quite the opposite. They practice caution because they’re aware of their physical limitations. Almost all workplace injuries and fatalities are preventable. Being vigilant prevents unfortunate incidents. Someone who is cautious in the workplace sticks to proven, time-tested safety solutions. They give something plenty of consideration before taking the plunge. Thanks to these people, the business is a much safer place to be. Additionally, they maximize productivity and output at work.

A Worker Can’t Be Fired Specifically for Being Injured

The law requires employers to provide a safe workplace at all times. Safe working environments benefit from fewer accidents, so they result in fewer occupational health costs. Safety needs to be reflected in the actions of managers, and the way business is carried out. Provisions concerning safety aren’t strictly observed by companies, particularly in small and medium-sized companies. If the employer fails to fulfil their obligations, the fault can be retained by the court. Put simply, the victim of an accident at work can obtain compensatory damages. The head of the company has to be vigilant when it comes down to such matters. 

Following an accident at work, the employer can’t retaliate or fire you. An unfair dismissal can lead to prolonged workers’ compensation payments, not to mention that it can expose the employer to a lawsuit; they can be sued in civil court. Unfortunately, many employers do it. The employer may choose to terminate you for other reasons, such as not being able to perform your essential job duties. But they must take reasonable steps to accommodate your new abilities so that you can keep their job. You have three months of less from the last day of employment to take action for unfair dismissal. 

What Can Employers Do to Keep the Workplace Free of Safety Hazards? 

Under health and safety laws, employers are responsible for managing risks in their businesses. Workplace safety is important for all workers, regardless of age. Here are some practical solutions to take into consideration: 

  • Enhance injury prevention via a wellness program. Strains, sprains, and falls can be prevented through flexibility, strength, and balance. Designing and managing an employee wellness program is the first step in preventing accidents. 
  • Match a worker’s task to their abilities. Repetitive tasks can injure the upper limb areas of the body. Task difficulty should be matched to worker ability. Regular breaks give people the chance to practice healthy habits in the workplace. 
  • Prevent slip, trip, and fall accidents. It’s advisable to maintain parking lots, maintain walkways dry and clear of obstacles, and apply slip-resistant floor treatments. Older employees need protection. Falls can result in fractures, hospital admissions, and injury deaths. 
  • Consider ergonomics. Prolonged exposure to ergonomic risk factors leads to injury. Bad chairs are the worst. The spine becomes inflexible, and pain may result in the lower back, neck, shoulders, and hips. Employers can order ergonomic chairs, together with keyboards and mouse rests. 

Today’s workforce contains a higher percentage of older workers. Employers have the same responsibility for the health and safety of older workers as they have for all workers. 

You Should Have A Few Basic Skills to Protect Yourself 

It’s up to the employer to make sure the workplace is safe and healthy. Nonetheless, responsibility doesn’t fall under one person. Understand the risks you face at work and protect yourself from those risks. Wear the protective clothing and headgear you’re supposed to wear, ask for more training on hazardous tasks, pay attention to warning signs and labels, and communicate your concerns to your supervisor. You should return home from work healthy, safe, and with dignity. Whether you work at a construction site or in an office, it pays to be careful. 

As mentioned previously, it’s also the responsibility of the employer to help create a safe working environment. Rights entail obligations. You’re responsible for your own well-being and that of others. If you operate machinery, avoid wearing loose clothing or jewellery. Also, if you have long hair, make sure it’s tucked away. Should you have concerns about health and safety at work, discuss them with your employer. They may be able to help. As a last resort, you can reach out to HSENI inspectors.


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