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Production workers 55 years and older see increase in workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017

July 22, 2019

In 2017, workers 55 years and older experienced 252,470 injuries or illnesses resulting in days away from work. This was essentially the same number as reported for 2016, however these workers experienced an increase in the number of days-away-from-work cases in six occupation groups. In 2017, there were 24,540 days-away-from-work cases among older production workers, up 2,310 cases from 2016 and 4,920 cases from 2011 estimates.

Number of days away from work cases by selected major occupation groups for ages 55 years and older, 2011–2017
Occupation group 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017

Farming, fishing and forestry

1,560 1,950 2,100 1,940 2,040 1,910 2,450

Healthcare support

11,190 10,820 11,430 10,850 11,620 10,460 11,620

Education, training and library

10,870 11,280 12,090 9,600 11,910 10,390 11,820

Sales and related

14,260 14,480 14,890 13,650 16,130 14,340 15,110

Installation, maintenance and repair

18,350 18,960 20,110 23,190 23,920 21,280 23,260

Production

19,620 20,670 21,250 21,600 22,350 22,230 24,540

In 2017, the leading event or exposure under which workers 55 years and older required days away from work to recover varied among occupation groups. Falls, slips, trips was the leading event for older workers in education, training and library occupations (56 percent) and sales and related occupations (47 percent). For those employed in installation, maintenance, and repair occupations the leading event was overexertion and bodily reactions (43 percent).

Percent distribution of selected events or exposures for workers 55 and older, all ownerships, 2017
Occupation group Falls, slips, trips Overexertion and bodily reaction Contact with objects and equipment Violence and other injuries by persons or animals All other events or exposures Total

Education, training and library

55.7% 12.4% 11.3% 18.8% 1.9% 100.0%

Healthcare support

36.7% 35.9% 9.7% 13.3% 4.3% 100.0%

Sales and related

46.7% 32.5% 15.6% 1.6% 3.6% 100.0%

Farming, fishing and forestry

34.7% 18.4% 24.5% 12.7% 9.8% 100.0%

Installation, maintenance and repair

24.6% 43.2% 23.6% 0.5% 8.1% 100.0%

Production

27.6% 38.5% 29.4% 0.3% 4.3% 100.0%
Number of selected events or exposures for workers 55 and older, all ownerships, 2017
Occupation group Falls, slips, trips Overexertion and bodily reaction Contact with objects and equipment Violence and other injuries by persons or animals All other events or exposures Total

Education, training and library

6,580 1,470 1,330 2,220 220 11,820

Healthcare support

4,270 4,170 1,130 1,550 500 11,620

Sales and related

7,060 4,910 2,350 240 550 15,110

Farming, fishing and forestry

850 450 600 310 240 2,450

Installation, maintenance and repair

5,730 10,040 5,490 110 1,890 23,260

Production

6,770 9,440 7,210 70 1,050 24,540

Violent events from persons or animals accounted for 19 percent of the days-away-from-work cases incurred by workers 55 years and older in education, training and library occupations. Those employed in farming, fishing, and forestry and in healthcare support sustained injuries through violent events in about 13 percent of their cases. Violent events accounted for approximately 4 percent of all injuries sustained by older workers and approximately 7 percent for all U.S. workers in 2017.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program and include workers in the private sector and government. For more information, see "Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2017." See more charts on counts, rates, and median days for older workers (PDF).

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Production workers 55 years and older see increase in workplace injuries and illnesses in 2017 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2019/production-workers-55-years-and-older-see-increase-in-workplace-injuries-and-illnesses-in-2017.htm (visited August 11, 2020).

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