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Women in Safety: Women More Likely to Encounter Workplace Assault

National Safety Council reports disparity among genders in the workplace when it comes to injuries.

The number of women who experience workplace violence greatly outweighs men who sustain nonfatal assault injuries, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported.

Seventy percent of all assault-related injuries that required missed work days involved females. 

"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 NSC CEO. "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."

In 2017,  12,820 women sustained assault-related injuries, a 60% increase from 2011. Only 5,530 male workers reported injuries related to workplace violence.

Besides 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 (60%), the NSC found.

Women working in certain industries experience a disproportionate number of various nonfatal injuries and illnesses. The percentages of nonfatal injuries and illnesses involving women in the following sectors are

  • Healthcare (80%)
  • Education (61%)
  • Management, business and financial (60%)  

To observe Women’s History Month, NSC is encouraging employers 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.

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