How often do depression and fatigue play a role in workplace injuries that occur in Tulsa? While we often assume that workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims are tied entirely to unsafe working conditions, it turns out that mental health can also affect a workers’ ability to perform her job at the highest level. According to a new study reported in Rewire News, “mental and behavioral health play a role in the prevalence of women getting hurt at work.” To be sure, the study addressed depression and fatigue in women workers, suggesting that women may be more likely than men to get hurt on the job as a result of underlying mental health issues.

What else should you know about this study and its possible impact on workers’ compensation claims in Oklahoma?

Work-Related Injuries Affect Women Who Experience Mental Health Issues

The key takeaway from the recent study is that about 60 percent of women who suffer a work-related injury on the job are also concurrently dealing with a mental health issue. In other words, those employees are coming to work while facing behavioral health issues that are linked to depression and fatigue, and then are sustaining injuries. To put that figure another way, more than half of all women who suffer an injury at their places of employment are also suffering from a mental health issue.

As a counterpart, the study, which was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, determined that just over 30 percent of men who get hurt at work are also suffering from a mental health issue or illness such as depression. Are the two things—mental health and workplace injury—necessarily related, or is it possible that more women simply are dealing with mental health issues, and there is no causal link between depression and workplace injury? The authors of the study suggest that there is a correlation, and it is important to recognize if businesses want to keep workers safe.

Workers Need More Than Physical Safety Protections

The researchers highlight how their findings provide a new way for employers to think about workplace safety: in addition to considering physical safety protections, employers should also be thinking about “an integrated approach that connects health, well-being, and safety,” according to the lead author of the study.

Do you have questions about filing a workers’ compensation claim or managing a workplace injury? An experienced Tulsa workers’ compensation lawyer can help. Contact Lobaugh Law to get started on your claim.