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Job injuries linked to job loss

February 10, 2016
by Nicole Stempak, Associate Editor
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If you're injured on the job, you're more likely to lose your job.

Nursing home employees are more likely to be fired within six months of being injured compared to colleagues without injuries, researchers found.  What's more, workers injured multiple times were twice as likely to quit their jobs in the next six months as colleagues without injuries.

The findings, to be published in Occupational Environmental Medicine, suggest regulatory protections may not always be followed.

"The results demonstrate higher risk of being fired, but we don’t have data to say why exactly workers are being fired," says lead author Cassandra Okechukwu to Reuters. Okechukwu is an assistant professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Researchers tracked a sample of more than 1,300 workers over an 18-month period from the Work, Family and Health Network. Workers are most likely to be injured during the first few months in a new work environment. Job turnover increases the chance an injured worker will be injured again in a new workplace. After 12 months, 30 percent of workers suffered an occupational injury. By 18 months, 24.2 percent were fired.

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