Why older construction workers are more susceptible to fractures

On Behalf of | Apr 30, 2024 | Construction Accidents

The construction industry is a demanding field. It requires physical strength, agility and the ability to navigate potentially hazardous environments.

While these demands are a natural part of the job, they can become more challenging as workers age. One significant concern for older construction workers is the increased risk of fractures from falls.

Understanding the risks: Age-related changes

As construction workers age, their bodies undergo several changes that can increase the risk of falls and subsequent fractures. For starters, bone mineral density naturally decreases with age, leading to a condition known as osteoporosis. This makes bones weaker and more prone to breaking upon impact, even from a relatively low fall.

Additionally, muscle mass and strength decline with age, impacting balance and coordination. This makes it more difficult to recover from a stumble or sudden shift in weight, potentially increasing the likelihood of a fall.

Age-related changes in vision can also impair depth perception and reaction times. This can make it harder to identify hazards and react quickly to avoid a fall. Moreover, certain medical conditions, like arthritis or inner ear problems, can further affect balance and coordination, contributing to fall risk.

Preventing falls and fractures: Proactive measures

Fortunately, there are steps older construction workers can take to protect themselves. To begin with, regular exercise programs that focus on strength training, balance exercises and flexibility can significantly improve stability and reduce fall risk.

Additionally, regular eye exams can help ensure optimal vision, while hearing aids can improve awareness of surroundings. Both are crucial for helping prevent falls.

Also, wearing work boots with good traction can provide a better grip on uneven surfaces, reducing the risk of slipping. Lastly, it is important to consult with doctors to help ensure medications don’t cause side effects like dizziness or drowsiness, which can contribute to falls.

Construction workers should know that construction companies have a responsibility to create a safe work environment for all employees, regardless of age. They can expect fall prevention training that can provide fall prevention strategies, including proper use of safety equipment and hazard identification.

By understanding the increased risk of fractures in a fall for older construction workers and taking preventative measures, construction workers can help to better ensure their safety as they age. That said, construction workers can still pursue workers’ compensation if they sustain injuries at a job site, regardless of their age. By working with a reliable legal team, older workers can increase their odds of receiving fair compensation.