With the workforce aging and people retiring later than ever, Workers Compensation experts have been concerned that older workers are more prone than their younger counterparts to suffer expensive injuries. However, new research from the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) contradicts this conventional wisdom,

After studying the rate at which different age groups suffer injuries, NCCI concluded that, although there is a substantial cost difference between younger and older workers, the split doesn't lie where you might expect. Workers between 20 and 24 create much lower costs (and fewer days out), but once they reach 35, the costs of their injuries are very similar. These results redefine an "older worker" as someone who grew up listening to Pearl Jam, as well as Elvis.

The bottom line: Your workplace safety program should focus on reducing injury costs for all employees, regardless of age, by following these steps:

  1. Develop a written job description for all positions.
  2. Give job candidates a "conditional offer of employment" that's contingent on their physical or mental ability to do the job.
  3. Have candidates take a pre-placement medical questionnaire, which allows a physician to ask relevant questions that will let you know if they're fit for the job
  4. Once employees are on the job, make sure that they do their work properly. Unsafe acts in the workplace cause far more injuries than unsafe working conditions. That's because employees who feel pressured to meet deadlines are more likely to ignore safety guidelines - leading to preventable accidents.

For more information on creating, implementing, and enforcing a comprehensive workplace safety program, please feel free to get in touch with us at any time.

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