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Mental health could be factor in women's workplace injuries

When Connecticut employees try to leave their problems at home when they go to work, the challenge might be harder for women than men. A research study that surveyed nearly 17,000 people employed in a variety of industries who made workers' compensation claims looked specifically at the relationship between workplace accidents and depression, anxiety and fatigue. Although men suffered more injuries on the job, women who reported having behavioral health challenges had a greater risk of getting hurt at work.

The lead author of the study recommended that employers adopt a holistic approach to workplace safety. This effort should go beyond basic safety programs and strive to integrate well-being and safety.

Close to 60 percent of the women in the study acknowledged that they were struggling with depression, anxiety or fatigue when their accidents happened. Only 33 percent of men made the same admission. The researchers speculated that men might be more reticent about discussing their health, which might explain the disparity. The home environment might also impose a different set of stresses on women than men. The study was performed by the Colorado School of Public Health in conjunction with that state's largest workers' compensation insurance company.

Regardless of the cause, people who are injured on the job generally have the right to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. These benefits can include the payment or reimbursement of medical expenses as well as in some cases a percentage of lost wages. An attorney can often be of assistance throughout the process.

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