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An aging workforce has far less negative impact on workers compensation claims costs than observers may think, concludes a report released Monday by NCCI Holdings Inc.
The new report adds to NCCI research findings published in 2011 concluding that on average costs for workers aged 35 and older tend to be similar. Boca Raton, Fla.-based NCCI, however, also reported last year that workers older than 35 generated higher-than-average claims costs in contrast to those for workers aged 16 to 34.
In its most recent research report, “Workers Compensation and the Aging Workforce: Is 35 the New ‘Older’ Worker?,” NCCI says it found that workers across different ages share “remarkably similar” types of workers comp injury designations for a range of specific diagnoses.
“For example, the shares of claims due to ‘sprain of neck’ that were temporary total injuries are virtually identical for both younger and older workers,” NCCI reports.
Among other findings, NCCI also reports that injuries due to high severity diagnoses which have historically been more common for older workers are becoming common in younger employees.
The report also states that while employers are attempting to retain older workers they are implementing safety and loss control programs to reduce their injuries.
“These programs are also likely to improve overall productivity and benefit workers of all ages,” NCCI states.
NCCI’s report is available here.
As baby boomers enter their 50s and 60s, society and the workplace are bracing for dramatic changes in demographics. As workforces age, employers must address many issues including making workplaces safer for older workers. View the gallery.