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.
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.