Insuring The Older Worker With Workers Compensation


In many globalized countries these days, including much of Europe and America, there is a problem of an aging workforce. In Germany many of the workers in auto plants are near retirement age, and the specialized labor force to replace them is in critical shortage. There are similar challenges in US, within the next decade workers compensation laws will continue to change and adapt to theses new situations.

According to data from the U.S. Census, employees in the United States are rapidly aging and many people over the age of 55 are still working. These numbers have increased by more than 50% over the last six years. With this in mind, there’s a way for employers and employees to prepare by actually changing the work environment, as well as taking caution with more safety initiatives. This is where employers and workers unions have a rare situation where they can genuinely work together for the betterment of both parties. Furthermore, as commodity and labor prices in the marketplace will fluctuate, worker’s compensation policy trends will also have to change as well. Group health insurance plans will increase, forcing workers compensation insurance to also change as the larger corporations force the insurance industry to also adapt.

Together with the problem of worker maturation, this presents a new field of pitfalls, which then cause finance problems essential in insurance policy formation. In addition to their employers, aging workers need to learn new methods to use modern assisted technology. If incidents do occur then, they’re more successfully dealt with in the workers compensation statements. While older personnel are more experienced and have less workplace injuries, they are from a financial standpoint, more expensive than newly hired younger staff. This provides an incentive and opportunity for employers to find younger workers to replace them. However, with the changes in broad demographic trends, the gap between the aging labor force and their replacements continues to grow. The growth of age-related health issues will also produce changes in work compensation.

In accordance with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2004, the states paid out over $56 million to assist workers; annually that amount continues to increase. In almost all of theses cases the injuries were physical incidents while the worker was attending to his official work duties at the assigned work place. Nearly half of the insurance budget set aside by the states is used for health care bills alone, and throughout 2007, workers compensation payouts rose to nearly $70 million. The statistics also stress the number one issue in worker’s compensation claims were again, physical related injuries.

The most beneficial way for the system to improve is to actually favor the older workers. However, as trends Indicate, the system needs some serious revision. For some employers, what might have been adequate in the past will certainly not suffice in the future. If workers compensation laws favor assisted technology, costs will go up for employers. This may reflect in the national economy as more regulations are applied in the different states. Assisted technology may have higher costs for the employers, but they will benefit society as a whole by reducing our government payouts in the form of injury compensation.

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