The workforce in California is evenly split at 50% woman and 50% males. As such, one would expect the amount of injuries sustained while working to also be evenly distributed amongst men and women. However, this is simply not the case.
A recent study in California on injuries in the workplace revealed that women are up to 50% more likely to become injured at work. Furthermore, as women get older, they become more at risk for being injured at the workplace. Couple this with the fact that men are less likely to become injured as they get older and the gap widens even further.
Hiring practices in the United States have become far more ethical than in the past and women continue to be qualified for a bevy of occupations. Because of this, these numbers will likely increase exponentially in the future, putting more women at risk for sustaining an injury at work.
Many of these workplace injuries that women sustain occur in occupations that, up until recently, were predominately considered male occupations. Construction jobs and the ever present farming and agriculture industry in California continue to experience wide growth with more and more women being hired into these fields.
As with any type of physical labor, the opportunity for injury is that much more likely than if you were working inside at a desk job.
In addition to this, company-issued protective equipment in these physical occupations is rarely, if ever, designed for the body of a woman, further increasing their risk of injury. The most common option women are left with is a men’s size small, which is undoubtedly not sufficiently the equivalent of a woman’s size.
Plus, with workers’ compensation insurance carriers covering less than 25% of work injury costs, women and men alike must be diligent in protecting themselves in the event of a workplace injury. Meaning proper protective equipment, insurance coverage and legal representation in the event you do become injured at work are all highly recommended.
Commission on Health and Safety and Workers Compensation CHSWC Report, February 2011
California Applicants’ Attorneys Association Women’s Caucus