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The impact of aging on work disability and return to work: insights from workers' compensation claim records



The impact of aging on work disability and return to work: insights from workers' compensation claim records



Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine 54(3): 318-327



To assess the impact of an aging workforce on (1) the incidence of work-related injury or disease and (2) the return-to-work (RTW) process. Workers' compensation claims (from 2001 to 2004) from Victoria, Australia (n = 59,525) were analyzed. Time off work was defined in terms of time until first RTW, number of workdays compensated, and work disability recurrences. The incidence of lost-time claims was 7.54 per 1000 worker-years; incidence increased with age to reach a maximum at ages 50 to 54 years. Days until first return also increased with age, as did the sum of compensated days. Recurrences were common (37%) and also increased with age. The aging workforce will lead to substantial increase in work disability. Besides general disease and injury preventative practices, policies could aim to provide tailored RTW programs for aging workers.

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Accession: 056364260

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 22371057

DOI: 10.1097/jom.0b013e31823fdf9d


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