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Research links paid sick leave to fewer injuries

August 15, 2012

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Washington – Workers who receive paid sick leave are less likely to be injured on the job, according to a new study conducted by NIOSH.

Researchers analyzed data on approximately 38,000 workers from the National Health Interview Survey and found those with access to paid sick leave were 28 percent less likely to be injured than workers without it, the study abstract stated.

In a NIOSH blog post, researchers speculated that workers with paid sick leave may face less financial pressure to work while sick, and fewer people working sick might lead to safer operations. Employers also may benefit from workers taking less unscheduled leave and reduced “presenteeism” (employees coming to work when they are sick and less productive).

Researchers said policymakers and employers should consider the overall well-being of workers, which could lead to more integrated programs to prevent injuries and improve worker health.

The study was published online July 19 in the American Journal of Public Health.

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