Are People With Disabilities More Likely to Get Injured?

If you already have a disability, chances are you are more likely to get injured on the job—and off the job—according to a new study.

Researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and The Ohio State University found that that the rates of nonoccupational injuries were 16.4 per 100 workers per year for U.S. workers with disabilities and 6.4 per 100 workers per year for U.S. workers without disabilities. Likewise, U.S. workers with disabilities had higher rates of occupational injuries at 6.0 per 100 workers per year vs. 2.3 per 100 workers per year for those 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,” said Dr. Huiyun Xiang, the study’s co-author and principal investigator in the Center for Injury Research and Policy. "Outreach programs that teach U.S. workers with disabilities occupational safety and health skills could play a significant role in preventing injuries.”

Falls and transportation were the leading causes of all injuries among U.S. workers.

Data were obtained from the 2006-2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The study appears in the online edition of the American Journal of Public Health.

Access injury prevention materials here.