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Increase in workers' compensation claims for older employees

Many Maryland residents are proud to be considered hard workers and trust that their employers will compensate them if the need arises. However, it is no surprise that people become more prone to injuries as they get older. One analysis concerning the number of workers' compensation cases filed over the past few years has shown that a large percentage of the claims are made by older employees who have sustained injuries on the job.

The recent investigation has revealed, though many of the baby boomer employees are often among the most experienced workers available to a company, individuals over 50 are proving to be exceedingly expensive for many businesses. The reason for this is largely because of primarily age-related injuries that manufacturing companies have had to compensate for. Older employees are statistically more likely to sustain spraining or joint-related injuries after long periods of working on the clock.

As a result, some employers are being forced to pay high amounts of workers' compensation on a larger scale. Some companies have taken this as a cue to heighten safety standards and protocol. More manageable hours, health programs and job reassignments are being offered to older employees that run a high risk of being injured or overworked.

This study has shown that, as many workers begin to grow older while also continuing to work, there has been a substantial increase in the number of employees getting injured on the job. With any luck, the long term effects of the new safety measurements will prove to lessen the risk for more seasoned employees. Unfortunately, accidents will still happen. In Maryland, there are several regulations that aim to protect workers who have sustained injuries and can potentially assist with gaining workers' compensation in such an event.

Source: CBS, "Aging Workforce Changes Workers' Compensation Trends," June 24, 2013

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