Every workplace injury comes at a cost. A single fall, spill, equipment malfunction, or other accident can lead to thousands of dollars lost to a claim, a fine, incident response and mitigation efforts, lost productivity, or all the above—plus numerous indirect costs.
As if the financial impact of workplace injuries weren’t enough, a new study by the Boston University School of Public Health has uncovered a dire effect for injured employees and their families. When a worker sustains an injury that requires more than a week off from work, that person is significantly more likely to die of suicide or a drug overdose.
Safety+Health magazine reports:
“The researchers reviewed workers’ compensation data collected between 1994 and 2000 for more than 100,000 injured workers in New Mexico and linked it with the workers’ Social Security Administration earnings and mortality data through 2013, along with National Death Index cause-of-death data through 2017. They found that 36,034 of the workers sustained a lost-time injury between 1994 and 2000. Lost-time injuries were defined as requiring more than seven days off the job or resulting in permanent disability.
Women with lost-time work injuries were 193% more likely to die from drug-related causes and 92% more likely to die from suicide. Men were 72% more likely to die by suicide and 29% more likely to die of drug-related causes.”
Read “Study links workplace injuries to greater risk of suicides, fatal drug overdoses.”
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