Friday, April 29, 2011

CDC Publishes Study on Older Workers Injuries and Illnesses at Work

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has published "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Among Older Workers---United States, 2009" in which it reports that, although older workers had similar or lower rates for all injuries and illnesses combined compared with younger workers, the length of absence from work increased steadily with age and was highest for older workers.

CDC undertook the examination as older workers (defined as those aged ≥55 years) represented 19% of the U.S. workforce in 2009 and are the United States's fastest growing segment of the working population. Overall, there were medians of 11 and 12 days of absence from work for workers aged 55-64 years and 65 years and older, respectively.
Older workers had higher rates of falls on the same level, fractures, and hip injuries compared with younger workers and workers of all ages. Public health and research agencies should conduct research to better understand the overall burden of occupational injuries and illnesses on older workers, aging-associated risks, and effective prevention strategies. Employers and others should take steps to address specific risks for older workers such as falls (e.g., by ensuring floor surfaces are clean, dry, well-lit, and free from tripping hazards).
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (April 29, 2011)

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