Texas is a tax haven that shares a border with Mexico. This makes it home to many Latinos as well as older people approaching retirement. Recent reports say that both of these demographic sectors face increasing risks at work.
In 2017, PBS reported that older people were not only getting injured but dying at work in alarming numbers compared to other groups. One of the reasons for this is that a significant number of baby boomers decided not to retire at 65. While millennials now dominate the workforce, baby boomers will still make up 25% of the workforce by 2024.
As bodies age, they are less resilient to accidents and injury. This is one of the theories researchers put forward to explain the higher rates of fatality. There are also some problems older people face that may increase their risk of accidents and injury. These include the following:
- Problems related to the muscle or bones
- Problems maintaining balance
- Hearing impairments
- Worsening vision
MarketWatch notes that in 2016, deaths on the job totaled about 5,190. Blue-collar workers had the highest death rates. Sectors with alarmingly high death rates included the likes of fishing, hunting, agriculture and forestry. The construction sector, however, experienced the highest number of accidents and injuries that led to deaths.
This sector has attracted many Latino workers over the years, which may explain why their fatality rates are a point higher than the national average. The national fatality rate for workers is 3.6 per 100,000 people but 3.7 for Latinos.
Meanwhile, older workers faced an even higher risk of death — 2.5 times higher than the national average to be exact for workers 65 years and older. Workers of 55 years and older accounted for 36% of fatalities.
Every work environment has its risks. However, the overwhelming burden of work fatalities shouldered by Latinos and the elderly may need to be addressed.