A descriptive analysis of nonfatal occupational injuries to older workers, using a national probability sample of hospital emergency departments

J Occup Environ Med. 1997 Sep;39(9):855-65. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199709000-00009.


An estimated 136,985 nonfatal, work-related injuries to workers 55 years of age and older were presented for treatment in hospital emergency departments across the United States during 1993. Men accounted for 63.7% of the injuries and had an injury rate of 1.06 per 100 workers, compared with a rate of 0.76 among women. Among the oldest workers (65+ years), injuries were more likely to be fractures or dislocations, to result from falls on the same level, or to involve hospitalization. The services industry had the largest number of injuries (31.9%), whereas the highest injury rate occurred in the agriculture/forestry/fishing industry (1.50 per 100 workers). The types of injuries most frequently requiring hospitalization were fractures or dislocations that resulted from a fall. Because older workers' employment demographics and injury patterns differ from the remainder of the labor force, interventions need to be developed which are specific to the workplace for this older working population.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Agricultural Workers' Diseases / epidemiology
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Forestry
  • Humans
  • Industry
  • Male
  • Medical Records Systems, Computerized
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Wounds and Injuries / prevention & control