What’s the big deal about a little slip or trip and fall at work? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), falls are the number one reason for emergency room visits for people who are 45 years of age and older.
Further, one out of every five falls causes a serious injury – like a fractured hip or a traumatic brain injury.
What contributes to the risk of falls for older workers?
Age has its privileges, but it also has a few drawbacks. As you get older, you run a higher risk of developing:
- Difficulties with your vision
- Lower body weakness
- Balance problems
- Dizziness caused by the use of some medications
You may also be more prone to serious injury in a fall than young people. With aging, your bone density can decrease, making your hips, legs and arms more susceptible to breaks. The reduced muscle mass and strength that older people often experience (especially if combined with other health issues), can also make it much harder for you to heal from your injuries.
You can generally take precautions to avoid a fall at work by making sure that you wear shoes with good traction, sitting down if you feel dizzy and literally “watching your step” carefully. However, those are no guarantee. If an accident happens, you may need to seek workers’ compensation while you recover. The good news is that if you are in the course of your work activities if you fall, you should be covered by workers’ compensation, regardless of your age or whether your age contributed to the fall itself.
Does it matter if you suffered more serious injuries because of your age?
You don’t have to be older to end up seriously hurt in a fall, but being older does increase both the chances of a fall and the likelihood of serious injuries. However, your employer cannot deny you workers’ compensation benefits just because your age contributed to the harm you suffered. If you’ve been hurt on the job, legal assistance can help you assert your rights. Contact a certified specialist workers’ comp lawyer today for a free consultation to understand your rights.