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Demographic characteristics can impact risk of workplace injury

Researchers have combed through years of data on workplace injury, tying those statistics with data from demographic surveys, and they have found that a higher risk of injury on the job might be associated with minorities. They also said that demographic traits including education could impact the risk of someone being injured in the workplace.

The researchers started with data from the American Community Survey and the Survey of Income and Program Participation. The former included data from 11.6 million people over the years from 2006 through 2013. The latter included data from close to 200,000 people from randomly selected years.

Researchers concluded that minorities were more at risk when it came to on-the-job injuries, with education, income levels and types of work being performed all contributing factors as well. The highest risk rates seemed to be for Latino men who were foreign-born; researchers noted a rate of 13.7 in 1,000 workers in this demographic sustained injuries.

Following closely on that figure were African-American men; 12 in 1,000 experienced workplace injuries. The average rate of other ethnicities was about 11.

Risks went up even further when researchers accounted for demographics other than ethnicity. Those with lower levels of education were at greater risk of injury, likely because they performed more manual jobs involving tools and machinery. Age also contributed to injury statistics, with older individuals more likely to suffer short- or long-term disability because of an injury at work.

While the statistics and findings can help employers reduce risks through education and safety programs, they don't stop all accidents from happening. Workplace accidents can also impact anyone, regardless of demographic. If you're injured in the workplace, you might have the ability to file a workers' compensation claim for coverage of medical expenses and other losses.

Source: Safety Health, "Minority workers have the highest risk for injury, disability: study," March 02, 2017

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