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Research Indicates Older MA Workers Not a Drain on Workers’ Compensation

Research shows that older Massachusetts employees are not necessarily more of a drain on the workers’ compensation system than younger employees.

A recent report from the National Council on Compensation Insurance stated “there is growing evidence that an aging workforce has a far less negative impact on workers compensation claim costs than might have been thought.”

The study found that costs for workers age 35 to 65 tend are be quite similar. Duration, treatments per claim, benefits per day, and costs per treatment are all similar for people in this age range. Costs for people age 35 and younger are lower, but older employees’ higher wages and in turn, higher premiums, offset this difference. Older workers have more costly injuries, but those injuries are becoming more prominent for younger workers.

NCCI explains that our physical and mental performance deteriorates as we age, but at a much slower rate than many assume. The report cited an earlier study that looked at three measures of performance: long-distance running, sprinting, and chess. For individuals age 35 to 65, the deterioration rate is 27% for a long-distance run, 19% for a sprint, and only 6% for chess.

Employers are also taking extra measures to keep their employees safe on the job site. Vulcan Materials Company changed the location of water tanks in delivery trucks, moving them from the top to the side, to make them easier to fill. It has also decreased the weight of chutes used for dispensing concrete. Harley Davidson provides trainers to treat aches and pains between shifts, and Duke Energy Corporation has a stretching program for its employees.

Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation

People of all ages in Massachusetts are vulnerable to workplace injuries. These injuries are especially common in physically demanding jobs like construction and manufacturing, but as we previously blogged about, they can also occur in an office setting. Office employees are susceptible to slip-and-fall accidents, lifting accidents, carpal tunnel syndrome, and repetitive trauma.

Our Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Attorneys have represented injured workers in disputes with their employers and insurance companies for over 50 years. State law is supposed to guarantee you benefits when you have been hurt on the job, but unfortunately, employers and their insurance companies might try to deny you benefits by claiming that your injury is not work-related.

If you have been injured on the job, please call us at 617.492.3000 or email us for a free case evaluation. We are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Source: Workers Compensation and the Aging Workforce: Is 35 the New “Older” Worker?, www.ncci.com, October, 2012.

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