How Workplace Stress Can Be Dangerous for Older Workers Posted on March 18, 2019 According to NJSpotlight, the standard retirement age has increased from age 65 to age 66 or older. In fact, more senior citizens continue to work past the standard retirement age, even up to 75 years old. NJSpotlight cites data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey that finds more than one-third of New Jersey residents ages 65-74 were either employed or seeking employment. Among seniors ages 75 and older, the employment rate increased from 5.8 percent in 2009 to 6.7 percent in 2016. In Cherry Hill, roughly 7.5 percent of people ages 75 and older are employed. Many older people continue working past the age of retirement because they simply can’t afford to retire. Some have no retirement savings. How stress impacts older workers In a study conducted by researchers from Portland State University, stress among older workers was measured by the amount of autonomy given to them, as well as accommodations for physical and psychological well-being. The researchers surveyed 243 municipal public works employees between ages 24-64 throughout the Pacific Northwest over the span of one year. Older workers tend to experience more stress than younger workers in environments with limited flexibility, lack of transparency, and poor relationships between employees and management. Identifying workplace stress Stress is inevitable in the workplace, and sometimes even beneficial to production. Prolonged stress, however, or an overall atmosphere of stress, not only hurts production but can set the stage for workplace injuries. According to Safety + Health Magazine, when workers are under stress, they tend to burn out quicker and are more prone to accidents. They may work faster than usual or cut corners by disregarding safety procedures. Additionally, stress can contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure, and musculoskeletal disorders ” all of which can render someone unable to work. Workplace stress may show up through: Poor concentration Fatigue Low morale Anxiety or irritability Alcohol or drug use on the job Overeating or loss of appetite Workplace incidents Workplace violence If you have sustained an injury or developed a debilitating health condition due to work-related stress, it’s important that you be aware of your legal options. If you developed a health condition, you may be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and lost wages, but it must first be proven that it was attributable to your job. You can put your trust in an experienced Cherry Hill workers’ compensation attorney at Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC. Our legal team can help guide you through this complex process and negotiate with insurance companies for a fair settlement. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation.