Elevated occupational transportation fatalities among older workers in Oregon: An empirical investigation

Jaime K. Walters, Ryan Olson, Justin Karr, Erika Zoller, Daniel Cain, Jae P. Douglas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Older workers have an elevated risk of being killed on the job, and transportation incidents involving vehicles or mobile machinery are especially deadly for this group. The present study was designed to address the research gap in understanding contributing factors to these incidents and recommend evidence-based guidelines for interventions. We gathered and analyzed data from several sources, including the Oregon Fatality Assessment and Control Evaluation program, the Oregon Workers' Compensation system, the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and peer reviewed research literatures. Rates and rate ratios (RR) were used to evaluate excess risk among groups. The results of this study show that older workers in Oregon have an elevated risk of fatality both in all events (RR = 3.0, 95% CI 2.2-4.0) and transportation events (RR = 3.6, 95% CI 2.4-5.4). Additional analyses and extant literature supports our hypotheses that multiple risk factors contribute to the phenomenon, including (a) hazard exposure, (b) organization of work, (c) physical fragility, and (d) normative cognitive, sensory, and psychomotor changes that occur with age. The evidence-based framework proposed may provide valuable guidance for developing safety interventions that protect older workers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-38
Number of pages11
JournalAccident Analysis and Prevention
StatePublished - 2013


  • Data analysis
  • Occupational accidents
  • Occupational fatalities
  • Transportation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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