Women in New Jersey and nationwide may have an increased chance of suffering a workplace injury due to mental health issues. A recent study, which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, was conducted by researchers from the Colorado School of Public Health’s Center for Health and Pinnacol Assurance, a workers compensation insurer.
For the study, researchers analyzed workers compensation claims data from 314 Colorado businesses. The data included nearly 17,000 employees who worked in a range of professions. The study found that while men were more likely to suffer workplace injuries overall, women were more likely to suffer injuries after reporting mental health issues like depression, anxiety and fatigue. In fact, nearly 60 percent of women who were injured on the job reported suffering a mental health problem prior to their injury. Only 33 percent of men reported a mental health issue before suffering a workplace injury.
The authors of the study said their findings show that employers must consider their employees’ safety, health and well-being when developing workplace safety policies. However, the authors also noted that more research must be done to determine why women are more likely to suffer mental health-related workplace injuries than men. One possible explanation is that men tend to admit fewer overall health concerns than women. Another possibility is that women face different workplace and home stresses than men.
Women and men who suffer work-related injuries are typically eligible to file for workers compensation benefits, which may provide medical expenses and wage replacement payments. Many workers find it helpful to discuss their case with an attorney before filing their claim. An attorney may also provide assistance if a claim is denied.