Examining occupational health and safety disparities using national data

A cause for continuing concern
BACKGROUND: Occupational status, a core component of socioeconomic status, plays a critical role in the well-being of U.S. workers. Identifying work-related disparities can help target prevention efforts. METHODS: Bureau of Labor Statistics workplace data were used to characterize high-risk occupations and examine relationships between demographic and work-related variables and fatality. RESULTS: Employment in high-injury/illness occupations was independently associated with being male, Black, ≤high school degree, foreign-birth, and low-wages. Adjusted fatal occupational injury rate ratios for 2005-2009 were elevated for males, older workers, and several industries and occupations. Agriculture/forestry/fishing and mining industries and transportation and materials moving occupations had the highest rate ratios. Homicide rate ratios were elevated for Black, American Indian/Alaska Native/Asian/Pacific Islanders, and foreign-born workers. CONCLUSIONS: These findings highlight the importance of understanding patterns of disparities of workplace injuries, illnesses and fatalities. Results can improve intervention efforts by developing programs that better meet the needs of the increasingly diverse U.S. workforce.

Source : Steege AL, Baron SL, Marsh SM, Menéndez CC, Myers JR. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2014.
http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajim.22297

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