Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Research: Gender, violence and workplace injuries

I ran across an interesting open-access article this week examining gender differences in occupationa injuries in the US. "Women and Accidents: The Need to Separate Gender Database" examines how the workplace injuries experienced by women differ from those experienced by men. Combining injury data from both genders means that the data--particularly for women in non-traditinal occupations--likely doe snot reflect their experiences of injury.

For example, violence is the second leading cause of workplace injuries among women in the US. While being killed by personal acquaintances in the workplace is relatively uncommon across the whole workforce, if you break out fatalities by gender, there are big differences. Approximately 25% of female violence fatalities (versus 3% of male violence fatalities) involve being killed by personal acquaintances. Combining the data masks this clear gender-differences that could be mitigated via the development of workplace violence programming.

The tables provide an interesting snap-shot of non-fatal injury stats. Note that women are more likely to experience slips, trips and falls while men are more likely to to injured by contact with objects. There is a similar difference when looking at workplace violence and motor-vehicle accidents.

The upshot of the article is that (1) men and women experience injury in the US differently, (2) it is hard to identify these differences because of reporting standards, and (3) separate reporting of male and female injuries would result in more focused prevention efforts.

-- Bob Barnetson

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