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Study Highlights the Dangers of Work-Related Stress and Its Effect on Work Injury

Stress WorkWe all know that stress is bad for our health, but could it also contribute to the prevalence and risk of workplace injury? Several studies have indicated as much, but most have been unsuccessful in determining the difference between causality and correlation. However, one newer study, conducted by the National Bureau for Economic Research, believes they may have reached a conclusion that truly quantifies the magnitude of work-related stress and its impact on work injuries.

Fluctuations in Productivity Demands Shows Effect of Stress

Most studies that have tried to find a correlation between work-related stress and health or injury risks examine high-stress jobs. The new study examined the injuries and illnesses of workers at export companies, which are far more likely to have fluctuations in productivity demands. Not only did the authors find the variable levels of stress they were looking for, they also determined that stress may very well increase the risk of injury and illness, particularly among female workers.

Results of the study showed that the well-performing export companies (top 25 percent) had employees taking fewer days off for sick days, possibly because their workloads discouraged them from doing so. However, the very top-tier of those companies had employees taking more sick days, possibly because they had to, due to being overworked.

The study also determined that just a 10 percent increase in company performance increased the risk of severe injury among female workers by 6.35 percent, severe depression by 2.5 percent, hospitalization because of heart attack or stroke by 15.01 percent, and use of medication to treat or prevent heart attack or stroke by 7.7 percent. Men also experienced a similar effect, just not to the same degree.

Time for a new Profession?

Almost every profession has at least some level of risk. Even an office job can result in stress. Long hours of sitting and typing can also increase the risk of certain injuries and illnesses. Yet, if you work in a job that has an excessively high level of stress and you have not yet suffered illness or injury, changing your profession or place of employment could possibly reduce your risk. Still, the pros and cons must be weighed. Also, there may be ways to mitigate your risk. For example, when using the office profession as an example, one could ensure they get up and walk around regularly to reduce their risk for conditions that tend to be more prevalent in those that live a sedentary lifestyle.

If an Injury or Illness Does Happen

If you or someone you love has suffered from a work-related illness or injury, you do have the right to seek compensation through your employer. Typically done through the workers’ compensation system. However, you may also have other avenues for pursuing compensation for your injuries. An experienced work injury attorney can examine your case to determine your options.

At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., your best interests, health, and quality of life are our top priority. Skilled and dedicated, we will advocate for you in your work injury claim. Schedule your consultation with our San Jose work injury lawyers to learn more about how we can assist with your case. Call (408) 289-1417 today.

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