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Work injury risk by time of day in two population-based data sources

TitleWork injury risk by time of day in two population-based data sources
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsMustard, C. A., Chambers A., McLeod C., Bielecky A., and Smith P. M.
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Pages49 - 56

To estimate the rate of work injury over the 24 h clock in Ontario workers over 5 years (2004-2008). METHODS: A cross-sectional, observational study of work-related injury and illness was conducted for a population of occupationally active adults using two independent data sources (lost-time compensation claims and emergency department encounter records). Hours worked annually by the Ontario labour force by time of day, age, gender and occupation were estimated from population-based surveys. RESULTS: There was an approximately 40% higher incidence of emergency department visits for work-related conditions than of lost-time workers' compensation claims (707 933 emergency department records and 457 141 lost-time claims). For men and women and across all age groups, there was an elevated risk of work-related injury or illness in the evening, night and early morning periods in both administrative data sources. This elevated risk was consistently observed across manual, mixed and non-manual occupational groups. The fraction of lost-time compensation claims that can be attributed to elevated risk of work injury in evening or night work schedules is 12.5% for women and 5.8% for men. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high prevalence of employment in non-daytime work schedules in developed economies, the work injury hazards associated with evening and night schedules remain relatively invisible. This study has demonstrated the feasibility of using administrative data sources to enhance capacity to conduct surveillance of work injury risk by time of day. More sophisticated aetiological research is needed to understand the specific mechanisms of hazards associated with non-regular work hours.

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