The workforce is aging, with a larger percentage of workers over 40 than ever before. And, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the average age of workers across all industries is 41 years old.
Of course, aging is a natural and inevitable process, and it does not necessarily prevent workers from efficiently completing their work responsibilities. Even so, workers over 40 must be aware of the injury risks they face on the job, as well as how injuries can affect them differently – particularly in the healthcare industry.
Studies show hospital workers are getting older
The healthcare industry might not have the largest percentage of older workers, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) notes that in 2011:
- Nearly 47% of hospital workers were over 45
- The median age of hospital workers is 43.6
According to more recent data, the average age of a registered nurse is 51.
This is both natural and common. After all, medical professions often require extensive schooling, leading many people to start their career at a later age than they do in other industries.
However, they must know the risks
If anyone understands how age can impact injuries, it is hospital workers. Many of them see the evidence regularly on the job in their patients.
Even so, it is critical to be aware that as workers age, they are more susceptible to:
- Muscle strains from regular lifting or twisting
- Broken bones from even minor falls
- Illnesses and worsening preexisting conditions
Workplace accidents might seem minor, but they can lead older workers to suffer injuries that are much more severe.
Should an injury occur, workers should not ignore it or believe they can heal themselves. No matter a person’s profession, if injured on the job they should seek formal medical care and treatment. If the injury affects one’s ability to perform their work, requires missed time from work, or results in permanent complaints, a worker should consult an attorney ensure their legal rights are protected.