Assaults Are Among Most Common Cause of Workplace Injuries for Women

March 20, 2019

Women suffer 70 percent of all nonfatal assault-related injuries involving days away from work and are disproportionately impacted by other safety issues, according to an analysis by the National Safety Council.

The number of women who incurred assault-related injuries at work in 2017 totaled 12,820 – a 60 percent increase since 2011. By contrast, 5,530 men sustained assault-related injuries at work in 2017, the analysis found.

Aside from assault, other work-related injuries and illnesses that disproportionately impact women include accidental injury by another person (59 percent), falls on the same level (57 percent), and ergonomic issues, such as complications from repetitive motion (61 percent).

Women working in certain sectors experience a disproportionate number of various nonfatal injuries and illnesses, too. For example, 80 percent of the nonfatal injuries and illnesses in the healthcare sector involve women. In education, the figure is 61 percent and in management/ business/financial firms, 60 percent.

Workplace injury and illness data including assaults are available on Injury Facts, the National Safety Council’s compilation of preventable death and injury statistics for nearly 100 years.

“Our workplaces should be safe havens for everyone, and these data show us we can do more to protect women in the workplace,” said Nick Smith, interim president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “As employers examine the biggest risks facing their workforce, we urge them to consider these trends and make sure safety is extending to all employees.”

To observe Women’s History Month, the council encourages employers to examine historical safety trends involving women in the workplace so that safety measures are aptly addressed for those most vulnerable.

The National Safety Council offers emergency preparedness training for the workplace, which includes active shooter instruction.

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