As people retire later, the workforce keeps aging. This trend has been a concern for businesses because the conventional wisdom holds that older workers are more vulnerable to costly injuries, driving up Workers Comp rates.
However, new research from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) casts doubt on this conclusion, changing the definition of “older workers.”
After studying injury rates for different age groups, NCCI found that, while workers under 35 had substantially more cuts on their fingers and those over 35 suffered more cases of carpal tunnel and cervical injuries, the numbers are startlingly similar.
What about expense? NCCI concluded that although workers between 20 and 34 create much lower costs (and fewer days lost), once they reach 35 these costs are similar. This redefines an “older worker” as someone who grew up listening to Nirvana instead of Elvis.
Injury prevention for employees – regardless of age –should begin during the hiring process. Once you have a written job description, offer the candidate the job based on his or her ability to do the work with reasonable accommodation. Then have the candidate complete a medical questionnaire to determine if he or she “fits” position. If so, it’s time to get started. If not, to find someone else.
If you haven’t already done so, set up and monitor a comprehensive safety-training program for new hires, Make sure that they remain mindful of how they’re doing their job. Far more injuries result from unsafe acts by employees than unsafe workplace conditions Employees who feel rushed are more likely to ignore safety aside so they can meet deadlines – leading to preventable accidents.