Your organization’s workplace demographics tell a story. It’s a story about access and opportunity, a story about diversity, a story about our changing societal norms and attitudes. It’s a story about your organization’s values, about your industry and your place in it, about where you’ve come from and where you’re going.
It’s also increasingly a story about workplace injuries and workers’ compensation costs.
That’s according to a new study by the National Council on Compensation Insurance. Titled “Changing Workforce Demographics and Workplace Injury Frequency,” the study looked at 10 years of data and found significant correlations between the kinds of people present in a workplace and the types of incidents that occur.
Risk & Insurance reports that “NCCI examined injury trends between 2006 and 2017, breaking down the data by industry sector, age, and gender,” with patterns “suggest[ing] that the contrast in injuries across demographic characteristics is worth closer attention.”
Specifically, NCCI’s findings show that compared to their younger colleagues, older workers are as likely or more to experience falls, slips, and other injuries:
“In 2006, incidence rates were successively higher for younger age categories. Since 2006, workers in the two younger categories have had larger frequency declines. In 2017, workers aged 25–44 became the group with the lowest incidence rates, in part due to an uptick for workers aged 65 and older. Workers aged 16–24 had similar frequency to workers aged 45–64.”
The study also revealed data trends related to gender. Although “injury rates for men remain higher than for women, mostly because of gender disparity in high-risk sectors like construction,” the difference appears to be shrinking. Injuries that were 34% more common for men in 2006 were only 17% more common in 2017.