Facts from the California Applicants’ Attorneys Association (CAAA) Women’s Workplace Injuries Symposium
Presented by CAAA’s Women’s Caucus and Co-Hosted by California’s Legislative Women’s Caucus 

 

 

 

 

 

Women make up 50% of California’s workforce.

  • 4 out of 10 households with minor children have a female parent as the sole or primary provider (Pew Research Center)
  • Women file 43% of all workers’ compensation claims
  • Women are nearly twice as likely as men to sustain a repetitive motion injury
    Christine Baker, Director, Department of Industrial Relations



Women are injured more frequently at work as they age, while men’s injury rates decline.

  • Women ages 25-64 who perform the same jobs as men with the same number of hours have a 20%-40% higher rate of injury
  • Women ages 55-64 have a 50% higher injury risk

The most common women’s occupations produce Cumulative Trauma (CT), or repetitive strain, injuries.

  • The 20 most common occupations for full-time women include secretaries, maids, receptionists, nurses, home health aides, housekeepers, waitresses, customer service representatives, and social workers (Institute for Women’s Policy Research)
  • These occupations place women at risk for hand, wrist, back, and foot injuries from repetitive work activities such as typing, heavy lifting, and standing over a prolonged period of time
  • Approximately 75% of workers in education and health are women, including teachers and nurses, who have highly stressful and physically demanding jobs
  • The nursing field is predominantly women who are daily exposed to bacteria that can be fatal
  • Almost 50% of leisure and hospitality workers are women including a large number of female maids who experience high rates of back injuries
  • Around 43% of wholesale and retail trade workers are women, with the greatest concentration in jobs that require repetitive motion, such as grocery store cashiers
  • A grocery store checker, on average, lifts 11,000 pounds of groceries every day
  • Women have a higher risk at work for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Mental Stress.
  • 75% of carpal tunnel syndrome claims are by women
  • 64% of mental stress claims by women 
  • Christine Baker, Director, Department of Industrial Relations
  • Upper body cumulative trauma is the most common musculoskeletal work injury for women
    Dr. Maureen Miner, President, California Society for Industrial Medicine & Surgery


Women have a higher risk at work for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and Mental Stress.

 

  • 75% of carpal tunnel syndrome claims are by women
  • 64% of mental stress claims by women 
    Christine Baker, Director, Department of Industrial Relations
  • Upper body cumulative trauma is the most common musculoskeletal work injury for women
    Dr. Maureen Miner, President, California Society for Industrial Medicine & Surgery
 

Women are more likely to be a victim of violence or mental abuse in the workplace.

  • Workplace violence is the second highest cause of women’s on-the-job fatalities
  • More than 70% of U.S. employers have no formal policy to help protect employees from workplace violence (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2006)
  • 35-40% of working women will experience sexual harassment during their work life
    Esperanza Ross, Legislative Advocate, United Farmworkers of America
  • 77% of southern U.S. Latinas said sexual assault at work is a major issue
  • 50% of all Latinas killed at work were victims of assaults and violent acts
    Dorothy Wigmore, Occupational Safety Expert, WorkSafe

Farm work is dangerous and done mainly by immigrants who are vulnerable, live below the poverty line, and are undocumented.

  • California has 112,000 female farm workers
  • There is a high rate of sexual harassment and assault in the fields
  • Only 1 female farm worker in California’s history has seen her perpetrator prosecuted for sexual assault
    Esperanza Ross, Legislative Advocate, United Farmworkers of America

Protective equipment is not designed for women’s bodies.

  • Tradeswomen, such as carpenters, electricians, ironworkers, and masons, are provided with respirators, safety harnesses, and tools that fit improperly and are designed for a man’s body
  • Women’s hands and feet are not equivalent to size “small” versions of men’s gloves and boots

Workers’ compensation insurance carriers cover less than ¼ of work injury costs.

  • ¾ of work injury medical and indirect costs are borne by taxpayers when State Disability, Social Security Disability, Medicare, and private insurance companies pay when employees are fearful of reporting injuries due to employer retaliation (UC Davis study)