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Women's Safety and Health Issues at Work

	5 women stnading side by side

Health Concerns: Serious Injury

Compared to men, women have a much lower rate of job-related deaths. Still, homicide accounts for almost a third (27%) of work-related deaths in women - it is the second leading cause of injury death for women in the workplace.1 Workplace homicides are mainly robbery- related, and often occur in grocery/convenience stores, eating and drinking establishments, and gasoline service stations.

NIOSH Publications

Workplace Violence Prevention for Nurses - CDC Course No. WB1865
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-155 (August 2013)

NIOSH Fast Facts Home Healthcare Workers How to Prevent Violence on the Job
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2012-118 (February 2012)
En Español

Workplace Violence Prevention Strategies and Research Needs
NIOSH Publication No. 2006-144 (September 2006)

Violence on the Job
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2004-100d

Violence: Occupational Hazards in Hospitals
NIOSH Publication No. 2002-101 (April 2002)
En Español

Violence in the Workplace
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 96-100 (July 1996)

NIOSH Alert: Preventing Homicide in the Workplace
DHHS (NIOSH) Pub. No. 93-109 (May 1995)
En Español

Related Resources

Workplace Homicides Among U.S. Women: The Role of Intimate Partner Violence
Intimate partner violence (IPV) is an important public health issue with serious consequences for the workplace. Workplace homicides occurring to U.S. women over a 6-year period, including those perpetrated by an intimate partner, are described.

Associations of workplace aggression with work-related well-being among nurses in the Philippines
Researchers found that physical assault and verbal abuse were associated with work-related injury and illness among nurses in the Philippines.

Gender-based political harassment and violence: effects on the political work and public roles of women
The article discusses the consequences of harassment and violence against female leaders in Bolivia.

Homicide against women in the workplace
This study was done to examine the nature and magnitude of violence against women in the workplace. The majority of female homicide victims were employed in two industries: retail trade and services.

Violence against nurses and its impact on stress and productivity
In a study involving 232 emergency nurses, researchers found that workplace violence was directly related to experience of negative stress, decreased work productivity and quality of patient care.

Using action research to plan a violence prevention program for emergency departments
Focus groups of people from six hospitals gathered data about assaults on emergency department nurses and identified planned intervention strategies.

Violence at the workplace increases the risk of musculoskeletal pain among nursing home workers
When researchers surveyed 920 clinical nursing home workers, nearly half reported being assaulted at least once during the preceding 3 months by a resident or resident's visitor. The prevalence of low back pain increased from 40% among non-assaulted workers to 70% among those assaulted three or more times.

Where African-American women work and the nonfatal work-related injuries they experienced in the U.S. in 1996, compared to women of other races
This study was done to find out where African- American women work and the injuries they experienced on the job compared to women of other races. The study found African-American women experienced higher rates of nonfatal work-related injuries compared to white women. There are a higher percentage of African American women working in healthcare, which may explain why they experience a high risk of sprains and strains.

Women in construction: occupational health and working conditions
In this study, the medical literature on safety and health hazards for women working in the construction industry is reviewed. Women have a different pattern of fatal injuries and some nonfatal injuries than men. Women also report unique problems and concerns related to working in this industry.

Women working in construction: risks and rewards
While both men and women working in construction face many of the same risks, there are some unique issues that are of greater concern to women. Tradeswomen are more likely than their male counterparts to die in job-related motor vehicle accidents or from job-related homicide and less likely to die from falls. Of women killed by motor vehicles, 30% worked as so-called flaggers.

Workplace Safety and Women (Podcast) (Running time: 7:41)
This women's health podcast focuses on four important issues for women at work: job stress, work schedules, reproductive health, and workplace violence. (Created: 5/11/2009 by Office of Womens Health (OWH) and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)).

Workplace violence: prevalence and risk factors in the safe at work study
Nearly one-third of nurses/nursing personnel reported that they experienced physical or psychological workplace violence. Risk factors included being a nurse, white, male, working in the emergency department, older age, longer employment, childhood abuse, and intimate partner violence.

Written violence policies and risk of physical assault against Minnesota educators
This study investigated the effect of nine different violence policies and their impact on work-related physical assaults in educational settings. Decreased risks of physical assault were associated with the presence of policies on how to report sexual harassment, verbal abuse, and threat; assurance of confidential reporting; and zero tolerance for violence.

  1. Hoskins, A.(2005) Occupational injuries, illnesses, and fatalities among women. Monthly Labor Review Online.
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