Workers with disabilities in the United States are injured at more than twice the rate of workers who are not disabled, according to new research. Disabled workers are more likely to sustain both non-occupational and occupational injuries, the study found.
Researchers analyzed data from the 2006-2010 U.S. National Health Interview Survey to compare medically treated injuries among U.S. workers with and without disabilities.
Non-occupational injury rates were 16.4 per 100 workers each year for those with disabilities, compared with 6.4 per 100 workers annually for those without disabilities.
Meanwhile, occupational injury rates were 6 per 100 workers each year for people with disabilities, compared with 2.3 per 100 workers yearly for those without disabilities.
Falls and transportation were the two leading causes of both occupational and non-occupational injuries among U.S. workers, the study found. The authors concluded that improvements to workers’ environments would reduce these types of injuries among workers with and without disabilities.
“The increase in occupational injuries to workers with disabilities found in our study shows the need for better accommodation and safety programs in the workplace and the need for a safer working environment,” study co-author Dr. Huiyun Xiang, principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and an associate professor in the division of epidemiology at The Ohio State University College of Public Health, said in a hospital news release.
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