Study: obese workers more likely to be injured

Obesity has become a serious health issue in the United States. As more people struggle with their weight, health experts are becoming more concerned with the impact those extra pounds have on a person’s overall health and life expectancy.

The health risks of being overweight and obese have been well-documented in many studies. These studies have focused on the impact obesity has on a person’s life but they never looked at the impact a person’s weight has on the risk of being injured at work until recently.

A new study found that obese people may need to consider the impact their weight has their safety at work in addition to their overall health. Obese workers have a 25 percent higher risk of being injured at work, according to a new study done by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.

The study found that obese workers are more likely to suffer a workplace injury compared to other workers, regardless of the industry they work in as well as their age and occupational hazards at work.

The researchers said that they still need to determine how and why obesity impacts job accidents and injuries, and what types of interactions in the workplace increase the risk of an injury. Once they identify what other factors contribute to workplace injuries, they may be able to suggest what improvements employers can take to reduce accidents and injuries for all workers.

The finding that obese workers are more likely to suffer a workplace injury is an interesting finding and something that workplaces should be aware of. Companies are responsible for keeping workers safe and reducing occupational hazards that increase the chance of being injured. Companies could also use this study to conduct their own research to see what types of accidents or injuries are more common in their workplace to take steps to reduce these injuries in the future.

Source: Risk & Insurance, “Study: Obesity associated with higher injury risk,” Nancy Grover, Dec. 16, 2013