Low-wage workers are at an elevated risk for workplace injuries, yet for many, their employers provide little or no education or training on workplace safety and health.
According to an article by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers, reaching these workers with health and safety information at community health centers may help lower their risk of injury and improve their knowledge of workers’ compensation.
About 39 million U.S. workers, close to one in three, had low incomes in 2009 – 2010, and between 2.5 and 5.7 million workers were considered temporary or contingent workers in 2005, according to the research published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. While these low-wage workers were more likely to experience injuries while working, they also had difficulty accessing health and safety information in their workplaces.
“With the growth of the low-wage workforce, their elevated risk for injury on the job, and their reliance on community health centers, we wanted to see how work-related injuries were detected in these centers and how familiar health care workers are with workers’ compensation,” said Dr. Linda Forst, senior associate dean and professor of environmental and occupational health sciences in the UIC School of Public Health and corresponding author on the paper.