Objectives The US workforce, like workforces around the globe, is ageing - which creates new challenges for occupational health researchers and practitioners. Throughout their working lives, workers experience changes in occupational exposures, behaviours and time demands. The ways in which age-related changes in specific injury risk factors interact to influence injury risk are complex. Data reported in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Reports Data collected by the United States Bureau of Labour Statistics was analysed to compare age-related differences in occupational injury rates across several industrial sectors and subsectors.
Method Occupational injury incidence rate estimates were developed to compare age-related patterns by industry and injury type. Injury count data from 2010, stratified by age group, industry sector and injury type, were provided by the US Bureau of Labour Statistics Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses. The Current Population Survey was used to develop estimates of at-risk experience. Data from a diverse collection of industry subgroups (defined by NAICS codes) were analysed, including agriculture, transportation and warehousing, private hospitals, nursing and residential care facilities, police protection and construction.
Results There are significant differences in the rates of occupational injuries when stratified by age group, industry and injury type.
Conclusions Additional research should explore the reasons why occupational injury rates differ by age group, industry and injury type. Occupational safety programs and policies should consider age-related differences in injury risks when allocating resources toward prevention efforts.
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