By: Steven Babitsky, Esq.

There is little doubt that the United States workforce is aging and that this is impacting workers’ compensation claims and payments.

Attorney Kip Kubin, speaking at the SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference, reported that:

– According the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2003, “older workers” (which they define as a worker over 55 years of age) comprised 11.8% of the American Workforce.  In 2002, that percentage had risen to 14.3% and they projected that in 2012 that percentage would rise to 19.1%

– Recent statistics indicate that the projections made 10 years ago might be right.  A snapshot of the data from the first 6 months of 2009 indicates that 18.7% of the workforce is older than 55 years of age.

– This is also reflected in the median age of the workforce.  In 1985 the median age of a worker was 35 years of age.  In 2010 that median age had risen to 42 years.

– When you look at this in terms of real numbers, in 1996 there were 43 million older workers in the workforce.  In 2009 that number had risen to 59 million older workers, a 37% increase.

What proactive steps can employers take to reduce injuries and hold down costs for “older” workers?

Ronald Porter PT will be presenting The Aging Worker: Proactive Cost-Effective Ergonomics at the SEAK 33rd Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference will be held on July16-18, 2013 on Cape Cod, MA.

Mr. Porter will present simple cost-effective solutions to reduce or control risk factors for aging workers. He will explain the “persistent” injury, aging workforce, and prevention issues, power zone, and workplace athlete programs. Mr. Porter will offer practical suggestions for developing and implementing an ‘ergo leader’ program to reduce workers’ compensation injuries for aging workers.

Ronald Porter, PT, CEAS IIIis a recognized expert in the field of Occupational Safety and Health, and Ergonomics. In the past 30 years, since becoming Director of the Back School, he has instructed over 1000 workshops and seminars on Ergonomics Awareness and Musculoskeletal Disorder Prevention to physical and occupational therapists, medical doctors, occupational health nurses, and industrial health and safety professionals. Ron has worked with over 200 industries, including Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, US Foods, Mars Incorporated, E.I. Du Pont, DS Waters, Shell Oil, International Paper, Cingular Wireless and the United States Navy, on the development and implementation of innovative ergonomics programs for both individual plant sites and entire corporations. He was chosen as the 2012 ASSE Ergonomics Practice Specialty Safety Professional of the Year and is often a featured presenter at regional and national safety and health association conferences. His recent presentations include: the 2007 – 2012 American Society of Safety Engineers Professional Development Conferences, the 1995 – 2005 and 2011 American Association of Occupational Health Nurses Annual Conferences, the 2010 National Ergonomics Conference and Exposition, SEAK Annual National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conferences in 2005 – 2007 and a March 2010 national webinar on the Aging Workforce for the ASSE Virtual Classroom. His Bachelor of Science degree is from the University of Tennessee-Knoxville and his Graduate Degree in Physical Therapy from Emory University in Atlanta, GA. He is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, American Society of Safety Engineers, the American Industrial Hygiene Association and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society.

For additional information about the SEAK National Workers’ Compensation and Occupational Medicine Conference click here.

Steven Babitsky is the conference leader.