Does An Aging Workforce Mean More Workers Comp?

aging-workforce-678x214In the past five years the number of workers between the ages of 55-64 has increased by over 50% as a result of economic hardships and the older population needing to hold off on retiring or needing to reenter the workforce after retiring.  Employers need to understand this shift and act accordingly as there are more health risks and injuries associated with an older population which could lead to more costly workers comp cases and premiums.

Older employees tend to have pre-existing conditions as well as the general age related conditions that occur.  This makes it harder for the employer to control workers comp spend along with more lost time.

Workers comp costs are the fastest growing cost in a business for many.  Older folks tend to have claims for back, knees, trauma, or stress.  If employers act now and address health and safety concerns early it will obviously decrease incidents which will decrease work comp claims, and could also lead to a reduction in health care premiums.

Accidents will always happen and this is why they are called accidents, employers are doing everything in their power to limit them that’s all.  Most incidents at work in the older workforce occur because the employee is not physically capable of performing the duties or tasks that were assigned to them.

Employers can help to reduce incidents and also properly place aging employees in proper job functions all while controlling costs to the best of their ability by assessing the candidates abilities:

  • Having pre-employment physicals done on all candidates by a medical personal can assess for any pre existing conditions
  • If you have the medical team performing the candidate testing come your where they would be working to see the job functions they would be doing it can help them to make a better physical assessment.
  • Make sure potential candidates have a clear job description of what they will be tasked to doing so they can determine if they can handle the position.

By having pre-employment exams and ability test an employer can help to make sure the candidate they hire can fully complete the job function thereby reducing the potential number of workers comp claims.

People try their hardest to put away for retirement but as economic factors continue to influence the amount of money we need to spend it becomes harder and harder to have a nest egg.  This causes people to have to work longer and harder, and from an employer stand point many of them do not want to hire an aging workforce for the reason that may not be able to handle the job or are more likely to get injured.  I hope that employers look into better ways to make sure that our aging workforce is well taken care of.

Source: The Buckner Company

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