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Paths of reentry: employment experiences of injured workers.

Authors
Strunin-L; Boden-LI
Source
Am J Ind Med 2000 Oct; 38(4):373-384
NIOSHTIC No.
20024432
Abstract
BACKGROUND: An injury at work can result in a change in jobs or employers, unemployment, or withdrawal from the labor force. Substantial life changes can occur, often mediated by the initial attempt to return to employment. METHODS: This study uses ethnographic interviews of 204 workers injured in Florida. RESULTS: The study describes three paths to reemployment taken by the injured workers. The "welcome back" path provides workers with a sense of being valued by their preinjury employers. This positive effect remains, even for those who are unable to continue working because of limitations imposed by their injuries. Other paths cause workers to feel undervalued, as discarded or damaged goods, and generate hostility and resentment. Females in all groups are less likely to be currently working. White males were more likely than other groups to be employed in skilled jobs and are also the most likely to return to light-duty jobs and to remain in their preinjury jobs over time. CONCLUSIONS: Half of the workers in this study experience employer indifference or hostility in response to their attempts to return to work after an occupational back injury. After injury, there are both commonalities and meaningful disparities in post-injury experiences of White, Black, and Hispanic male and female workers.
Keywords
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Work-environment; Workers; Back-injuries; Demographic-characteristics; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Age-factors; Racial-factors; Sex-factors; Author Keywords: workplace injuries; injury experience; human costs; qualitative methods
Contact
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany Street, Boston, MA 02118
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20001001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
lstrunin@bu.edu
Funding Amount
679889
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2001
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-CCR-112141
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
0271-3586
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Social and Economic Consequences
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
MA; WI; FL
Performing Organization
Boston University, School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
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