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More older workers die in a workplace accident on the highway

On behalf of Jeffrey Frederick of Frederick & Hagle posted in Workplace Accidents on Friday, September 6, 2013.

Not including commuting time, many workers have to drive for their employer as part of their job duties. In Illinois or elsewhere that job duty has proved to be a dangerous one, and it’s more dangerous to older workers than to younger ones. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports in a study that the workplace accident most likely to cause a workplace death in the country is a highway accident.

Additionally, employees age 55 or older who have job duties that include driving are more likely to be killed in accidents than younger colleagues. This is apparently due to declining cognition and greater susceptibility to injury, according to the CDC report. Among the 55 to 64 age category the chances of death in a driving accident were about 50 percent higher, and those 65 and older were three times as likely to die.

This is expected to be an increasing problem as more Americans work deeper into their later years. The CDC reports that transportation companies can help by having less nighttime driving, better-planned routes and refresher driver training. The CDC stressed that employers, health professionals and occupation safety professionals are all particularly concerned with the safety of older workers who drive at work.

The CDC suggests that companies with older employees consider allowing them to have discretion in scheduling trips, or to stop in case of fatigue, illness, bad weather, or darkness. The workplace driving deaths are usually associated with collisions as opposed to single-vehicle crashes, the CDC said. Furthermore, drivers, rather than passengers or pedestrians, were the most likely to be killed.

In Illinois and other states, a worker involved in a workplace accident that involves a vehicle accident is entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits regardless of fault. As always, if it involves an accident that occurs while the worker is performing job duties, whether driving a truck or working construction or any other job duty, then he or she is entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits. These consist of all medical expenses, and compensation for lost wages based on published schedules.

Source: Claims Journal, Older Transportation Workers More Likely to Die in Job Accidents, Drew Armstrong, Aug. 26, 2013

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