National Safety Council analysis indicates that women are disproportionately impacted by certain safety issues, most notably nonfatal workplace violence. Females account for 70% of all assault-related injuries involving days away from work. The number of women who incurred assault-related injuries at work in 2017 was 12,820 – a 60% increase since 2011. By contrast, 5,530 men sustained assault-related injuries at work in 2017.
Aside from assault, other work-related injuries and illnesses that disproportionately impact women include accidental injury by another person (59%), falls on the same level (57%) and ergonomic issues, such as complications from repetitive motion (61%).
Women working in certain sectors experience a disproportionate number of various nonfatal injuries and illnesses, too. For example, the percentages of nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving women in the following sectors are:
• Healthcare (80%)
• Education (61%)
• Management, business and financial (60%)
Workplace injury and illness data, including assaults, are available on Injury Facts, the 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 NSC. “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, NSC encourages workplaces to review their employee assistance programs (EAPs) and ensure they include appropriate support resources. Employers also should examine historical safety trends involving women in the workplace so that safety measures are aptly addressed for those most vulnerable.