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Study finds that mental health may affect work safety for women

Female workers in Oklahoma might be more likely to be injured at work if they are suffering from fatigue or mental health issues. According to a study that appeared in the "Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine," anxiety, depression and fatigue may all increase the likelihood that a woman will be injured at work. Male employees do not appear to be affected in the same way.

Nearly twice as many women who were injured on the job reported suffering from anxiety, poor sleep or similar issues prior to the injury as men; women reported at 60 percent compared to 33 percent for men. However, the study's lead author said it was unclear why this was the case with women and that further research is needed. According to her, the higher injury rate might be attributable in part to other social and cultural factors or to different stresses. She also said the study indicated the need for a more integrated approach to safety that accounted for well-being and health.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Colorado School of Public Health's Center for Health, Work & Environment. They examined data on nearly 17,000 employees from over 300 businesses. Overall, men were more likely than women to be injured on the job, and workers who had been injured before were more likely to suffer injury again.

Most of the time, if a person suffers workplace injuries, that person is eligible for workers compensation. There may be situations in which an employer says that a worker is ineligible to discourage the employee from applying for compensation, or the employer might not know that the employee is eligible. An attorney may be able to assist an employee in preparing paperwork and with any appeals.

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