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Smith Welch Webb & White Blog

Monday, March 24, 2014

Worker's Compensation: Top 3 Ways to Prevent Injuries Among Older Workers

As an attorney specializing in worker’s compensation, I have helped many employers in Georgia address workplace trends that affect worker’s comp.  Today, a major trend effecting employers is the aging of our workforce. 

To be sure, older workers do offer some perks for employers.  They have greater maturity and more years of experience that can work to an employers’ advantage.      

However, older employees can also affect the types of worker’s compensation claims filed, as they often experience different types of injuries compared with younger workers and may require longer recovery times. For example, older workers tend to have more rotator cuff and knee injuries, while younger workers are more prone to back and ankle sprains. 

Here are the top three ways employers can prevent injuries amongst this group:

  1. Evaluate and Adjust:  Ensure that employees are well-suited for their physical work, and make adjustments and accommodations accordingly.  This could include a change in environment such as better lighting, a change in equipment that can lighten heavy loads, or the time needed to complete a task.

  2. Identify early signs of injury: Make sure employees and managers can catch small injuries before they become bigger injuries.  There are two parts to this: First, educating employees and managers to identify the early signs of injury; and second to have a culture where people feel comfortable reporting minor injuries.  

  3. Wellness programs: Older workers have proven to be receptive to health and wellness incentives, and these programs can be used to reduce certain risk factors such as smoking and obesity that have a strong correlation with workplace injury rates and longer recovery times.

It’s estimated that one-third of the total U.S. workforce will be age 50+ by the year 2016 as baby boomers age and postpone retirement due to the recent economic downturn. Proactively addressing worker’s compensation among the aging workforce is a smart move that will pay off in dividends.

For more information about Worker’s Compensation from an employer’s perspective, email William A. White at wwhite@smithwelchlaw.com or call 770-957-3937.  Smith, Welch, Webb and White is recognized as a premier law firm throughout the State of Georgia with expertise in this area of law. We have an uncompromising commitment to serving our clients and our community. Our team of experts routinely handles a wide range of legal matters, and will provide outstanding service for you, your family or your business.

 

Any representations regarding the law in this Blog is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog publisher. The Blog should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.


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