Older workers absent longer due to injuries: report

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Atlanta – Despite having similar or lower injury and illness rates than younger workers, the length of time older workers are absent because of injuries and illnesses increases steadily with age, according to an analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data published in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Older workers, defined as those at least 55 years old, experienced an estimated 210,830 injuries and illnesses in 2009 that led to lost workdays. Injured workers 55 to 64 years old were away from work a median of 11 days, and injured workers at least 65 years old experienced a median of 12 days of missed work. The median number of lost workdays for all ages was eight.

As the fastest-growing segment of the working population, older workers made up 19 percent of the total U.S. workforce in 2009 and 17 percent of all workers who experienced lost workdays.

The data comes from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses, and was analyzed by BLS, CDC and several state partners.

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