Women suffering from depression and fatigue at higher risk of work-related injuries

Researchers have shown through a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that women who suffer from depression and fatigue at higher risk of work-related injuries.

According to a team of scientists led by those at Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health, Work & Environment, depression and fatigue significantly affected women’s risk of injury but not men’s risk.

For the study researchers collaborated with Colorado’s largest workers’ compensation insurer, Pinnacol Assurance. The team examined claims data of 314 businesses from a range of industries. Close to 17,000 employees ranging from executives to laborers were represented in the study.

“The findings of our study demonstrate that keeping workers safe requires more than your typical safety program. It requires an integrated approach that connects health, well-being, and safety,” said Dr. Natalie Schwatka, the study’s lead author and assistant professor in the ColoradoSPH’s Center for Health, Work & Environment and Department of Environmental and Occupational Health.

The researchers found that men were more likely to sustain a work-related injury but behavioral health factors, like poor sleep and anxiety, did not directly affect their risk of injury. Women were more likely to report experiencing mental and behavioral health issues and these conditions increased their risk of getting hurt on the job. Almost 60% of women with a work injury reported experiencing a behavioral health condition before they were injured, compared to 33% of men.

Yet, Dr. Schwatka cautions that further research is needed to understand why there are differences in women’s and men’s risk of work-related injuries. Overall, workers who had an injury in the past were more likely to be injured again, regardless of their gender.

“There a number of social and cultural factors that may explain why women reported having more behavioral health concerns than men did. Men generally admit to fewer health concerns,” said Dr. Schwatka. “And women may face different stresses at work and at home. It’s something that is worth exploring in future research.”

Shawn Symonds

About Shawn Symonds

Shawn has been in the pharmaceuticals industry ever since he graduated out of college - 10 years to be precise. Shawn has had an all round experience of the industry including medicines, vaccines, chemicals and related sectors. Through his insider access to the sector, he has gained valuable insight into the entire manufacturing process of medicines and vaccines. You can contact him here.

View all posts by Shawn Symonds →