Building an Economy that Works for Everyone

Workplace injuries less likely when employees have paid sick days

From the “no-brainer” news desk comes a new study that adds some empirical data to plain old common sense: workers are less likely to be injured on the job when they have paid sick days.

The study, performed by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH is part of the CDC), found paid sick days offer a significant protection against workplace injury. In an analysis of 38,000 workers, workers with paid sick days were 28% less likely to be injured on the job than those without them. Workers in high risk occupations such as construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and health care and social assistance were most likely to benefit from paid sick days.

The authors suggest that the income security offered by paid sick days allows sick workers to stay home until they’re healthy, lowering the number of workplace accidents. The authors conclude:

Our findings suggest that, similar to other investments in worker safety and health, introducing or expanding paid sick leave programs might help businesses reduce the incidence of nonfatal occupational injuries, particularly in high-risk sectors and occupations.

Paid sick days have already been proven to reduce turnover costs for business, increase employee retention and morale, and protect public health. This study showing they reduce workplace injuries is yet another reason that paid sick days are a no-brainer.

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