Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, and fatigue have a higher risk of injuring themselves at work, according to a new study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Researchers discovered that these health factors affected women more than men while at work.
“The findings of our study demonstrate that keeping workers safe requires more than your typical safety program,” said Dr. Natalie Schwatka, assistant professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US and lead author of the study.
To reach this conclusion, Dr. Schwatka and her team analyzed insurance claims data of 314 businesses across a number of industries. The total number of employees documented in the study came close to 17 thousand.
According to the study, men had a higher chance of injuring themselves at work, however, health factors such as lack of sleep and depression did not directly affect their risk of injury.
Women were reported to experience mental and behavioral health issues at work, thus increasing their risk of getting hurt on the job.
About 60 percent of women who sustained a work injury reported experiencing a behavioral health condition prior to the incident. Researchers found that only 33 percent of men experienced similar issues.
The study also found that workers who experienced an injury in the past were more likely to be injured again, regardless of gender.
Dr. Schwatka notes that further research is required to understand why women who experience fatigue or depression are likelier to get hurt at work than men. She theorizes that a number of social and cultural factors are at play, pointing to men’s reticence to admit health issues. More so, she explained that women are likelier to face “different stresses at work and at home”, something which would add to the risk of injury in a work environment.
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