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Well at Work

Calling in Sick Can Keep You Safe

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You shouldn’t feel guilty or scared about using your paid sick days. Workers who take advantage of this benefit are 28 percent less likely to suffer nonfatal work-related injuries, according to a new report from the government’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

“This study highlights how our work lives and our personal health are intertwined,” the institute’s director said in a CDC news release. “This concept of total worker health, which involves creating an environment of well-being both at home and at work, is an important aspect of the American economy, as we depend on able and productive workers.”

If sick or stressed workers are not able to take time off from work, they not only face injury, but also depression, the study’s authors warned. Previous research has also linked paid sick leave to quicker recoveries from minor health problems while also significantly cutting the risk of mass infections of a virus within a workplace setting.

In 2010, only 40 million private-sector employees in the United States had access to paid sick leave. While the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act mandates public and private sector companies to provide up to 12 weeks of leave to eligible workers, it doesn’t have to be paid leave.

Tags: Health, Disease, Work