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Health conditions raise women’s risk of work-related injuries, study finds

February 27, 2018

Aurora, CO — Anxiety, depression and fatigue increase women’s risk of getting hurt at work, according to a recent study from the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work and Environment.

Researchers reviewed 17,000 workers’ compensation claims from 314 employers in different industries. They found that nearly 60 percent of women who were injured on the job reported a behavioral health condition before the incident occurred, compared with 33 percent of men.

“There are a number of social and cultural factors that may explain why women reported having more behavioral health concerns than men did,” Natalie Schwatka, lead author and assistant professor at the Colorado School of Public Health, said in a Feb. 13 press release. “Men generally admit to fewer health concerns, and women may face different stresses at work and at home.”

The researchers also found that both men and women were more likely to be injured at work if they had been injured before.

“Keeping workers safe requires more than your typical safety program,” Schwatka said. “It requires an integrated approach that connects health, well-being and safety.”

The study was published online Feb. 12 in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine.