An aging workforce and injury in the construction industry

Natalie V. Schwatka, Lesley M. Butler, John R. Rosecrance

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


The relatively large birth cohort between 1946 and 1964, combined with the economic recession in the first decade of the 21st century, have led to an increase in the proportion of older workers in the US workplace. Understanding the health and safety needs of an aging workforce will be critical, especially in the construction industry, where physical job demands are high. This paper reviews the epidemiologic literature on the impact of age on injury among workers in the construction industry in terms of cause, type, and cost. PubMed was searched by using the following terms: older workers, construction, construction industry, injury, and age. The available studies reported that, among the construction industry workforce, older age at injury was related to higher injury costs but not to number of injuries. The higher injury costs associated with worker age are likely due in part to the severity of the injuries sustained by older workers. Identification of injury trends and subsequent analytical research efforts designed to ascertain factors associated with injury among older construction workers are needed for employers to effectively manage a health and safety program that addresses the needs of the aging worker.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalEpidemiologic Reviews
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • accident prevention
  • aging
  • facility design and construction
  • work
  • workers' compensation
  • wounds and injuries

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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