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Changing workforce changes risks to employers

According to a 2017 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics career outlook report, workers who are 65 and older are likely to stay on the job longer. They are also projected to be the highest-growing sector of the workforce by 2024. In the same period of time, the growth rate among workers between the ages of 25 and 54 is likely to slow down. This is partially because of a lower birth rate in addition to workers staying on the job longer.

In addition to older workers, Hispanics are projected to make up a larger portion of the American workforce. These two factors will likely cause changes in the workers' compensation industry. For instance, older workers are more likely to get injured on the job. If an older worker is replaced by a less experienced worker, that could pose risks for an employer.

These risks may be heightened if an inexperienced worker is not properly trained. Workers may also have health issues such as obesity or cancer that may increase the risk of getting hurt at work. Chronic pain is an issue that employees may have to deal with, and these health issues may cause medical costs to increase. Workers' compensation claim costs usually double when a worker has a chronic condition and may go up by five times if more than one condition is present.

Those who are injured because of a workplace accident or become ill because of toxic exposure may have grounds for a workers' compensation claim. Such a claim may entitle a worker to compensation to help pay medical bills related to the injury or illness. That worker may also be entitled to a portion of his or her pay while out of work either temporarily or on a permanent basis.

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