Age in relation to worker compensation costs in the construction industry

Am J Ind Med. 2013 Mar;56(3):356-66. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22093. Epub 2012 Jul 10.


Background: A better understanding of how workers' compensation (WC) costs are affected by an aging US workforce is needed, especially for physically demanding industries, such as construction.

Methods: The relationship between age and injury type on claim costs was evaluated using a database of 107,064 Colorado WC claims filed between 1998 and 2008 among construction workers.

Results: Mean WC costs increased with increasing age for total cost (P < 0.0001), medical costs (P < 0.0001), and indemnity costs (P < 0.0001). For each one-year increase in age, indemnity, and medical costs increased by 3.5% and 1.1%, respectively. For specific injury types, such as strains and contusions, the association between age and indemnity costs was higher among claimants aged ≥65 compared to claimants aged 18-24.

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that specific injury types may be partially responsible for the higher indemnity costs among older construction workers, compared with their younger coworkers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Colorado
  • Construction Industry / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Injuries / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / economics*
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data
  • Young Adult