Many reports indicate that there are still inequalities in the workplace between men and women. It might be in the lack of executive positions women hold or the wage gap, but there are still disparities today in 2019.
However, women in the workforce face another dangerous inequality in the rate of work injuries they suffer.
Women suffer more work injuries in certain fields
The number of men in the U.S. workforce still outnumbers the number of women. According to the most recent data from the Department of Labor, the workforce is made up of roughly 66% men and 55% women.
Yet, female workers often still suffer more injuries on average. In March, the National Safety Council (NSC) conducted a study that found women experience a disproportionate amount of nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses compared to men.
In a past blog post, we covered a study that found women faced a higher mental health risk after a work injury, but it seems they may face a higher risk overall. The study also showed that female employees suffered more injuries that kept them out of work for long periods in specific fields, including:
- 80% of injuries reported in healthcare;
- 61% of injuries reported in education; and
- 60% of injuries reported in business and finance.
Generally, women make up more than half of the education field, though that ratio is lower for women in healthcare and business. Regardless, these statistics are still alarming.
Workplace violence against women is also particularly high
The most disturbing evidence the NSC found was the rate at which female employees were subject to violence and assault in the workplace across all fields. The two most concerning findings from the NSC state that:
- Women workers suffered 12,820 assault-related injuries, while men sustained 5,530 injuries in 2017; and
- The number of assault injuries women sustained on the job in 2017 increased by 60% since 2011.
Employees who experience injuries from assault in the workplace are indeed eligible to pursue workers’ compensation to help cover costs during their recovery (Maryland Code, Labor & Employment §9-101).
However, it is critical to raise awareness of the risks women face in their respective workplaces. When women, men and their employers understand these risks, then they can take action needed to eliminate them and make the workplace safer for everyone.