Women more likely to be injured in the workplace

On Behalf of | May 30, 2019 | sexual harassment, workplace discrimination |

The National Safety Council (NSC) has published its findings for injuries in the workplace during 2017. The national totals were 4.5 million non-fatal injuries with an estimated cost of $161.5 billion, based on wage and productivity losses, medical expenses, administrative expenses, motor vehicle property damage, and employer costs. The final numbers were 154,511,000 injured workers and 4,414 deaths.

Its complete findings are at its web site, but one issue that jumped out was that women workers in many professions were more likely to be injured than their male counterparts.

Non-fatal assault disproportionately high

The NSC analysts found that 70% of all non-fatal assault-related injuries with days away from work involved women – this was a 60% increase since 2011. It added up to 12,820 injuries in 2017 for women, versus 5,530 non-fatal injuries for men.

Other types of injuries that were higher

Women workers found the workplace more dangerous in other ways as well. Other areas with a higher incidence of injury or illness included:

  • Ergonomic or repetitive motion injuries were 61%
  • Accidental injuries by another person were 59%
  • Falls from the same level were 57%

Professions more dangerous for women

Occupations with disproportionately higher injury rates for women included:

  • 80% of nonfatal work-related injuries or illnesses in health care involved women
  • 61% of non-fatal work-related injuries or illnesses in education involved women
  • 60% of non-fatal work-related injuries or illnesses in management, business or finances involved women

Safe for women and men

The NSC did not yet break down their numbers by state, but both employees and employers here in Pennsylvania should take these national statistics to heart. Ideally, this will start a conversation and/or reevaluation of how to make the job safer for everyone.

Women and men injured in the workplace should seek medical help as soon as possible while also notifying employers or managers. The injured may also need to file a claim against the offending or negligent parties. A knowledgeable employment law attorney could work with employees to file a suit if the injuries were gender-related. They can also consult with concerned employers who are facing potential litigation or wish to avoid it.