No, it’s not time — nor would it be fair — to sound a clarion call of concern for America’s comparatively older employees in the workforce. Doing so would certainly be a bit alarmist, as well as potentially discriminatory because, as noted in a recent Denver Post article, “it’s dangerous to lump all people in an age group together.”
Relevant statistics applicable to the country’s progressively aging workforce don’t lie, though, and what they starkly reveal is that older workers — read the baby boomer demographic especially, with age 65 and up being an instructive marker — are confronting an on-the-job environment that is far more problematic than it is for their younger peers.
Notably, notes that above-cited report, that means that, “Older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall.”
The math on that matter is quite clear. Reportedly, and just a couple years ago (the cut-off point in a recent federal-based analysis), more than one-third of all fatal workplace accidents across the United States took the lives of 55-and-up employees.
A health expert from Denver’s Public Health Department finds that wholly unsurprising. He stresses that the simple fact of getting older makes workplaces more challenging venues for aging employees. Falls are more common for older people. So are trips and stumbles, vision and hearing loss, impaired balance, a variety of degenerative muscle- and bone-related issues and other ailments.
Employers in every state — Colorado included — obviously need to meet the obvious and growing challenges that are faced in a singular way by an older and growing band of workers.
As the Post piece points out, on-the-job death rates for older employees are showing as “consistently higher than comparable rates for all workers.”