Introduction Annually in the world, more than 300 million nonfatal occupational accidents occur requiring at least 4 days of absence from work. Elevated psychiatric disorders and psychological symptoms are reported after occupational injuries. In addition, those with poorer psychological conditions had lower probability of returning to work, and those who with a disability of the upper or lower extremity tended to have higher mortality from self-harm in later life than did the general population. In cases of severe injury, a proportion of workers spent the rest of their life suffering from psychological ailments.
Methods Using the available information on incidence rates of occupational injuries, and related psychological and psychiatric ailments after occupational injuries, overall psychosocial impacts as a result of occupational injuries are estimated, including psychiatric diseases, psychological symptoms, disability from work, and suicides.
Result Psychiatric diseases worldwide are caused directly or indirectly by occupational injuries. The less severe forms of mental consequences are psychological symptoms or preclinical psychiatric conditions. Significant percentage of permanent disabilities are caused by psychiatric conditions related to injuries. In addition, delayed return-to-work, i.e., longer duration of temporary disability is found among injured workers with psychological symptoms. A special form of psychological/psychiatric condition, suicides and suicidal ideation are increased among injured workers. There are still limitations in this analysis due to a great varieties of psychological outcomes obtained, and to lacking of epidemiological assessment of these conditions after occupational injuries.
Discussion Generally, the psychosocial impacts of occupational injuries are greater than generally understood. In addition to preventing occupational injuries, secondary and tertiary prevention to minimise psychosocial impacts are warranted.
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