Older people dying on job at higher rate than other workers

Older people are dying on the job at a higher rate than workers overall, even as the rate of workplace fatalities decreases.

That’s according to an Associated Press analysis of federal statistics.

The trend is particularly alarming as baby boomers reject the traditional retirement age of 65 and keep working. In 2015, about 35 percent of the fatal workplace accidents involved a worker 55 and older.

Ken Scott, an epidemiologist with the Denver Public Health Department, says the physical changes associated with getting old “could potentially make a workplace injury into a much more serious injury or a potentially fatal injury.”

Gerontologists say those changes include gradually worsening vision and hearing impairment, reduced response time, balance issues and chronic medical or muscle or bone problems such as arthritis.

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