Women make up 50% of the American workforce, but according to a survey from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), they account for less than half of all workplace injuries. One common explanation for this statistic is that fewer women work in industries such as construction or maintenance, where the rate of on-the-job injuries is high. However, women in other fields, such as healthcare workers or administrative assistants, also sustain significant workplace injuries that can have a lasting effect on their long-term health and wellbeing.
Common workplace injuries for women
A report from the National Safety Council (NSC) found that women are disproportionately affected by the following workplace injuries:
Women suffer from 70 percent of all nonfatal assault-related injuries on the job, and homicides are the leading cause of occupational fatalities among women.
Accidental injuries caused by faulty equipment or another person’s negligence are often avoidable, but frustratingly commonplace.
Loose carpets, worn tiles, or unsafe conditions on the floor create a likelihood of slips, trips, and other falls, leading to injuries that cause long-term pain and suffering.
Women working behind a desk or on a computer are susceptible to back and neck problems, as well as chronic repetitive strain injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome.
Barriers for women and workplace safety
Women face some unique challenges in the workplace that put them at greater risk of certain injuries than their male colleagues. According to the American Society of Safety Professionals (ASSP), two major safety concerns for women on the job are:
Most violence women face in the workplace stems from loosely controlled work environments. Women are more likely than men to work in the healthcare and education industries, which encourage interaction with patients and students who may become violent. Additionally, the Department of Labor attributes 27 percent of all violent assaults in the workplace to domestic violence, and one-third of all women murdered at work are killed by partners or ex-partners.
Improperly fitting personal protective equipment
According to the ASSP, failure to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) is the second-leading cause of workplace injuries. Many times, women are noncompliant with PPE regulations because they don’t have access to gear that fits them properly. PPE designed specifically for women is often cut for thin, petite bodies, but in reality, women come in all shapes and sizes. If PPE doesn’t fit, it’s ineffective, limiting workers’ defense against workplace hazards and increasing their risk of injury.
Legal rights for women injured at work
If you’re a woman who’s been injured on the job, it’s important to understand your legal rights. Workers’ compensation laws exist to ensure you get the medical treatment you need, and if necessary, disability benefits and additional damages to prevent unnecessary hardship as a result of your injury.
But filing a claim for worker’s compensation can be complicated and time-consuming – especially if you’re recovering from a workplace injury. To help you navigate the terrain, it important to enlist the services of a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who will handle the entire process from start to finish, so you can focus on your recovery.
San Diego law firm Gerald Brody & Associates specializes in workers’ compensation
At The Law Office of Gerald D. Brody & Associates in San Diego, we know how frustrating it can be to experience an injury at work. That’s why we’re here to help. With a collective 45 years of experience representing injured workers, we’re committed to obtaining the maximum possible benefits and the best possible medical care for each of our clients.
Let us help you navigate the complex world of workers’ compensation. Call us today at (619) 528-9800 for a free consultation.