Canada: Immigrants face greater injury risk

Recent immigrants who take jobs for which they are over-qualified are more than three times as likely to sustain an injury at work as their appropriately qualified peers who have been in the country for some time, Canadian researchers have found. They found having an educational level that exceeded the requirements of the job was associated with a higher risk of work injury for both men and women, but after taking account of the demands of the job this association held true only for men and only for repetitive strain injury. When immigrant status was considered separately, men who were recent immigrants and who were over-qualified for the job were more than five times as likely to sustain a work injury that required medical attention as those who were not over-qualified and who had been in the country for some time. After taking account of physical job demands, recent immigrants who were over-qualified for their job were still more than three times as likely to sustain an injury at work. No such associations were evident among women. Those who are over-educated may not have the knowledge and skills required to perform their job safely, say the authors, and language barriers and lack of familiarity with the country may get in the way of being able to understand or voice health and safety concerns, they suggest.

Source : Stephanie Premji and Peter M Smith, Education-to-job mismatch and the risk of work injury, Injury Prevention, Published Online First: 9 July 2012 .

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