Work Injuries and Illnesses by Age

The age demographics of employed workers has shifted since 2011, with the U.S. population growing older. Compared to 2011, the proportion of employees age 55 and older has grown, while the proportion of employees in the 35-54 age range has decreased.

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Reflecting the changes in employee age demographics, the number of injuries and illnesses involving days away from work is also increasing among workers age 55 and older. Employees also experience different types of injuries depending on their age. For example, the 16-19 and 55-64 age groups reveal the following contrasts:

  • 32% of injuries experienced by older workers are overexertion events, compared to 18% among younger workers
  • 45% of injuries experienced by younger workers are contact with object and equipment events, compared to 20% among older employees
  • 42% of younger workers who are injured are in service occupations, compared to 21% of older workers
  • 37% of injuries among older workers involve 31 or more days away from work, compared to 12% of injuries among younger employees

Use this interactive chart to make comparisons between two employee age groups. Data is available for both number and rate of nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving days away from work in the private sector. Please note, injury rate data is limited and will only appear in the chart when available.

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How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables