After reaching full maturity at about 25 years, the body starts to undergo slow changes. The changes are typically only noticeable between 40 and 50 years of age. An older worker’s years of experience might make him or her less likely to suffer a workplace injury. However, older workers may take longer to recover if a workplace injury occurs.
Although each worker is unique, the musculoskeletal system deteriorates over time. These changes decrease the load-bearing capacity, flexibility and range of motion with age. The respiratory and cardiovascular systems are also affected by age, which in turn affects the ability to adjust to changes in temperature.
Posture and balance regulation might become a problem for older workers such that maintaining balance while lifting and carrying objects, and working at dangerous angles or slippery surfaces could be risky. Hearing and vision also change as workers age, which increases the injury risk because potential dangers might go unnoticed. With age, employees may experience changes to their vision, and their peripheral vision field may deteriorate. The risks increase in poorly lit areas and also in excessively noisy workplaces. For those who work shifts, problems with sleep regulation could exacerbate the injury risks.
Workers of all ages in British Columbia are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits, which typically cover medical expenses and lost wages. As with any law, exceptions exist. For that reason, utilizing the skills of an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is a good idea. Legal counsel’s support and guidance may assist a worker in obtaining the maximum benefits available at law.