During the Great Recession, many people who thought they had a safe retirement secured were forced back to work by the stock market collapse. Many of these individuals were older, but their significant experience and excellent skill base allowed them to find opportunities in the workforce.
Unfortunately, as more and more older people returned to work, the incidence of injury for this demographic increased drastically. Older people suffered injuries at work at much higher rates than their younger, less experienced counterparts, leading some to question what factors were contributing to these injuries.
Investigations by various advocacy groups yielded a number of contributing factors, including:
- Large numbers of jobs requiring heavy lifting, which negatively impacts backs and knees of older individuals at a higher rate than younger individuals
- Work environments that are too hot or too cold, the extremes of which can contribute to a number of injuries, and older people are particularly sensitive to extreme temperatures
- Lack of ergonomic workstations to reduce the stress on joints
There are a variety of laws that govern what types of accommodations workplaces must provide for their older workers, and many businesses ignore these laws. It can be very difficult for an older worker to stand up for themselves, because they fear they will be fired if they request the accommodations they are entitled to, and getting another job can be very difficult if you have a reputation for being difficult.
If you or someone you love has been injured on the job, and you suspect that failure to provide proper accommodations played a role, please contact an attorney. Too many businesses will continue to ignore the needs of their workforce until workers stand up for their rights. A qualified attorney can help you stand up for your rights and the rights of your coworkers.