Study Reveals Significant Risk of Injury for Disabled Workers

In New York and throughout the U.S., falls and transportation accidents are recognized as two of the leading culprits of occupational injuries among workers. In fact, thousands of people are injured at work every year for these reasons. A new study appearing in the American Journal of Public Health, however, suggests that workers with disabilities are significantly more likely to sustain injuries while on the job than workers without disabilities.

The study was conducted by researchers at Ohio State University and the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The study compares medically attended occupational and non-occupational injuries among U.S. workers with and without disabilities.

The results of the study reveal a serious safety concern for workplaces and their employees. According to the data, six out of every 100 disabled workers sustain workplace injuries every year. This is much higher than the rate for workers without disabilities. On average, only 2.3 out of every 100 workers without disabilities sustain injuries while at work. In other words, disabled workers are more than twice as likely to be injured within the workplace.

According to the study’s authors, the results of the study highlight a serious need for improved accommodation of workers with disabilities. They stress the need for better safety programs to be implemented in the workplace and suggest that greater attention be given to creating a safer working environment for disabled and non-disabled workers alike.

Huiyun Xiang, co-author of the study and Associate Professor of the Division of Epidemiology at The Ohio State University College of Public Health, says that “Outreach programs that teach U.S. workers with disabilities occupational safety and health skills could play a significant role in preventing injuries.”

Regardless of whether an employee is disabled or not, employers are legally obligated to take certain measures to ensure worker safety and prevent workplace accidents. Unfortunately, serious injuries within the workplace have the potential to occur even when precautions are taken by everyone involved.

If you or a loved one has been injured at work, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. Depending on the circumstances of your injury, you may also be able to seek compensation from responsible third parties. An attorney can provide further guidance about your available options.

Source: WorkCompWire.com, “Study: Workers with Disabilities Injured at More than Twice the Rate of Workers Without,” August 8, 2012.