Statistics Canada, Canada’s national statistics agency, released a report on work injuries [PDF] a while back. There were a few things we found interesting. While four percent of all workers experienced some sort of work place injury over the past year, only two percent of the women had. So guys got hurt disproportionately to gals.
You might hypothesize that perhaps men perform riskier tasks, on average, than women. However, the research showed that men have a higher rate of injury across all job categories.
Can women work harder?
Another point of interest was that, compared to men working less than 35 hours a week, men who work eighty hours a week or more were twice as likely to get injured. Men were forty percent more likely to get hurt if they worked between 45 and 79 hours.
It makes sense, doesn’t it? The more someone works, the more tired they are and the more likely they are to harm themselves somehow. Sounds good, except that it didn’t hold true for women. There was no noticeable difference among women based on the number of hours worked.
Women who worked more than one job experienced more injuries than women who only had one job. There was no difference for men. Finally, we found one in the men’s favor!
Why do we work so much?
Seriously, though, we see that whether we look at hours worked or number of jobs, there is evidence to show that chance of harm increases.
So we wonder: Why do we work so many hours? Why do we need more than one job? In many cases, it’s because of money issues. Might we be better off looking at our budget? Would we better served by adjusting our lifestyles? Then we might not have to work so much and we might not get hurt as much.
More hours. More jobs. Still a lack of money. No extra time. More stress. All of these come into play together.
Speaking of play
Here’s another thing we found very interesting in this report. Only 28% of all “activity-limiting injuries” occurred at work. Now think about that. We spend about half of our waking hours at work, if not more. Yet nearly three-fourths of the accidents that keep us from working happen in our personal lives. What in the world are we doing at home?
The study says that most accidents that occur at work are hand injuries and lower back strain. We don’t know what the accidents are away from work. Are we straining ourselves too much at home?
Maybe instead of a “honey do” list, we should start a “honey don’t” list!
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