Workers 55 and older, regardless of the industry they work in, should know that more and more people in their age group are suffering fatal injuries on the job in North Carolina and around the country. The Bureau of Labor Statistics looked at the number of workplace fatalities from 1992 to 2017 and found that it went up 56% for older workers despite a 17% decline for workers overall. In that period, 38,200 older workers died.

The most at-risk professions for older people are farming and truck driving. This is because of the 38,200 who died, 3,217 were farmers and 3,772 heavy-duty or tractor-trailer drivers. As for why more older people are dying across these and other industries, the aging population and the increasing number of people working past retirement age provide explanations. The BLS said the number of older workers more than doubled from 1992 to 2017.

Overall, the workplace fatality rate between those two years was 3.5 per 100,000 full-time equivalent workers. Among workers 55 to 64, the rate was 4.6 per 100,000 FTE workers. Among workers 65 and older, it was an alarming 10.3 per 100,000 FTE workers. A total of 775 workers 65 and older died in 2017, representing an all-time high and an increase of 66% from 1992.

The North Carolina workers’ compensation program can provide benefits to family members and other eligible dependents of those who die on the job, but the process of filing a claim can be hard to handle on one’s own. Families may want a lawyer to evaluate their case and assist them with each step, especially with filing an appeal if the employer denies payment.