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Workers Compensation Repurcussions of an Aging Workforce


connecticut construction insurance speciliastWill Workers Compensation injuries be on the increase, merely because we have an aging workforce?

 We hear it constantly – the aging workforce – and for some of us that are of the baby boomer generation we don’t like hearing it!  We can’t stop the aging process, but we do actually have some control over the WC injuries that can result.

Whether you work at a desk, in commercial construction, or in manufacturing, it’s unfortunate but true that as you age your body parts just get worn out!  Years of typing can cause repetitive motion issues, years of lifting or digging trenches can cause repetitive traumas, as well as knee, back, and shoulder issues.   But it comes down to the fact that even though the body part may be weakened just by the aging process, if the “final straw” happens on the job, it’s a workers’ comp claim.

It is evident that the baby boomer generation is willing to learn new techniques, take care of ourselves both physically and mentally, and they don’t want to give in to the idea of getting older so they can’t do certain tasks.  They are highly motivated to keep going, but without pain.

So, what can an employer do to help the aging workforce not get injured?  First of all observe how tasks are performed and be open to having them done a different way to alleviate stress on certain body parts.  Enlist assistance with this evaluation from those who actually do the job and have done the job for many, many years.

For repetitive motion issues, it can merely be an ergonomics issue.  Still even in 2010 we should be looking at how an individual’s workstation is set up and if they have the proper tools.   From a construction standpoint it can be holding training sessions regularly on proper lifting techniques, or merely telling your employees it’s okay to ask for assistance when lifting items of a certain weight – in fact encourage or insist they ask for help!

By providing your employees with training on correct body mechanics, healthy eating habits, support in joining a gym,  more employees may come to realize that they do have control over their personal discomfort and/or pain and see that they can prevent and alleviate the physical stresses or work and personal life!

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