Severity of workplace injury tends to increase with age. Whether older workers who experience a workplace injury or illness exit the labor force sooner than comparable peers is not established.
A case‐cohort study design and complementary log‐log model were used to identify factors associated with average time to early substantial labor force exit among workers’ compensation claimants 50‐64 years of age with permanent impairment from an occupational injury or illness. Analysis was based on Ontario's workers’ compensation claimant data from 1998 to 2006 linked with Canadian tax files.
Workers with permanent impairment left the labor force earlier, on average, than peers without claims. Early retirement was associated with older age in the injury/illness year, greater impairment, lower pre‐claim income, physically demanding jobs, and soft‐tissue injuries.
Policies aiming to extend older adults’ working lives should account for the potentially disparate impacts on older workers of occupational injury and illness.