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Depression, stress increase women's risk for work injuries

Researchers have just concluded a study that points out striking differences between the injury rates among men and women workers. Though the results will require further research to better understand, employees and employers in Kentucky may want to take the findings into account.

By collaborating with the insurer Pinnacol Assurance, the Colorado SPH's Center for Health, Work & Environment was able to analyze the workers' compensation claims of 314 businesses. Close to 17,000 employees, ranging from laborers to executives, were represented in this study. Researchers found that nearly 60 percent of the women who filed a claim reported that they were suffering from a mental or behavioral health condition before getting injured. By contrast, 33 percent of men said they were affected by such a condition.

This result comes despite the fact that more men are injured on the job than women. The mental and behavioral health factors included fatigue, poor sleep, anxiety, stress and depression. Researchers believe that part of the reason for this discrepancy is that men are less likely to admit to health concerns. The unique stresses that women feel at work and at home may also be an influence. However, hurt workers (of either sex) face a hire risk of facing a second injury.

Filing for workers' compensation benefits is usually a straightforward process. However, it's often wise to retain a lawyer to make the process smoother. A lawyer could help bring all the proof of injury together and even hire investigators and medical experts in the effort to calculate a fair settlement. Workers' compensation normally covers medical expenses and lost wages. Victims can leave all negotiations up to their lawyer as well, and if their proposed settlement is denied, they can consider taking the case to court.

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