Percentage of older Americans dying in workplace accidents grows

For many Texans, the decision to continue working even as they approach ages at which it is reasonable to retire or cut back on hours can be made for many reasons, personal and financial. However, workplace accidents can happen to anyone and research indicates that a growing number of older workers are suffering a fatal workplace accident when compared to the population at large. Those who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a fatal accident at work should be cognizant of these statistics as the cause of the fatal accident is determined.

The total number of deaths on the job, regardless of age, has reduced as time has passed. Americans age 55 and above suffer a fatal workplace accident more frequently than average. This research, analyzed by the Associated Press from federal statistics, says that the number of workplace deaths for workers across the spectrum lowered by 22 percent in the decade from 2006 to 2015. For older workers in that same time frame, it was 50 to 65 percent higher.

In 2005, there were nearly 5,500 fatal workplace accidents. That reduced by more than 600 by 2015. For older workers, the numbers total increased to 1,681 from 1,562. The reality that a greater number of older people are working is a factor as that number rose by 37 percent. The number of workers overall increased by 6 percent. Older people who have reached retirement age are increasingly staying on the job. The number is expected to rise to the point that one-quarter of all workers will be categorized as older by 2024.

Between 2011 and 2015, increases in fatal workplace accidents for older people broke down as follows: there were 20 percent due to falls; 17 percent due to contact with equipment and objects; and 15 percent in transportation accidents. There was an 8 percent decrease in deaths by fires and explosions. These numbers are worrisome for people who are older and continue to work no matter what type of job they are doing. When there is a fatal workplace accident, no matter how old the person is, there are many issues that must be dealt with from funeral costs, to lost wages, to lost companionship and more. A wrongful death legal filing can help to receive compensation after the accident.

Source:, “Older Americans are dying on the job, retirement age to blame,” Aug. 2, 2017