Older construction workers are at greater risk of bone fractures

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2024 | Workers Comp |

Most people outside the construction industry are likely aware that it is a physically demanding field. Despite the innovation of various machinery, most workers still have to perform strenuous tasks on a daily basis.

Tasks like lifting heavy materials, climbing ladders or working at heights can seem routine for younger, more flexible workers. However, as construction workers age, the risk of musculoskeletal injuries skyrockets.

Age-related bone density loss

The older a construction worker gets, the more their bone density naturally decreases. Over time, the bones become more brittle and susceptible to fractures. As such, they can easily sustain musculoskeletal injuries when they get involved in work-related accidents.

Since construction work involves heavy physical labor, any impact on the body can result in missed work and a compromised source of income. Thankfully, injured construction workers can qualify for workers’ compensation and receive some financial relief during their recovery.

Muscle mass and strength decline

Aging construction workers also have to grapple with a decline in strength and muscle mass. This gradual shift can eventually make it challenging for older workers to lift as heavily as they used to. Unfortunately, due to the demanding nature of construction work, most older workers are forced to push themselves beyond their strength limit to maintain their earning potential.

When muscle mass decreases, a worker’s coordination may be compromised and this makes them more susceptible to falling accidents. Muscle mass decline also means that the bones have less cushioning against fractures in case of an impact accident. Their loss of balance can also make them clumsier at construction sites, where stumbling can easily result in a catastrophic accident.

Delayed healing processes

It’s not enough that an older construction worker’s body is more prone to injuries than when they were young. Their healing process can also be longer compared to younger workers. A seemingly simple injury can keep a worker on bed rest for longer than they anticipated. This is where wage replacement benefits come in. Workers’ compensation can help ensure that this prolonged recovery time doesn’t spell financial doom for an older worker.

The impact of work-related injuries is significant, potentially affecting the health and economic stability of workers. That’s one of the reasons why older injured workers should not pass up the opportunity to apply for workers’ compensation even if they think their injuries are minor.