ACOEM reports in the September Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine that overweight and obese workers are more likely to incur high costs related to workers’ compensation claims for major injuries. Researchers from the University of Texas analyzed data on about 2,300 injured workers in Louisiana. Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or higher and overweight as a BMI between 25 and 30. After three years, about 11 percent of claims for major injuries (for example, fractures or complete tendon tears) were still open—indicating that the worker had not yet returned to work. Obesity and overweight weren’t associated with a delayed return to work, but for workers with major injuries, high BMI was associated with higher workers’ compensation costs. In this group, costs averaged about $470,000 for obese and $270,000 for overweight workers, compared to $180,000 for normal-weight workers.
Read more via WorkCompWire here.