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Women's work injury rates impacted by stress, depression

Pennsylvania men are more likely to be injured on the job. However, their injury rates are seldom influenced by the presence of mental health factors. On the other hand, women's injury rates are. This is the conclusion of a new study conducted by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health.

To come to this conclusion, researchers from the Colorado SPH's Center for Health, Work & Environment teamed up with Pinnacol Assurance, the state's largest workers' compensation insurer, to analyze the claims of close to 17,000 employees in a total of 314 businesses (ranging from those in labor and construction to those in executive positions). They found that 60 percent of injured women reported that they had behavioral health concerns before their incidents while only 33 percent of men made similar reports.

The most common mental health factors were stress, anxiety, and depression. Others reported poor sleep and general fatigue. Researchers showed that these do increase the risk for work-related injuries. Among both sexes, those who sustained one injury were more prone to getting hurt again.

Researchers have stated that more research will be necessary to understand the difference in the findings between men and women. They suggest that men are less likely to admit to health concerns than women. In addition, certain challenges women face at work and at home may also contribute.

Before injured workers file for workers' compensation benefits, they should consider hiring a lawyer. An attorney can bring in investigators who will show how extensive the injuries were; that way, a client could receive the maximum amount and be covered for any future medical care.

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