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Assessment of mortality in the construction industry in the United States, 1984-1986.

Robinson C; Stern F; Halperin W; Venable H; Petersen M; Frazier T; Burnett C; Lalich N; Salg J; Sestito J; Fingerhut M
Am J Ind Med 1995 Jul; 28(1):49-70
United States death certificate data from 19 states from 1984 through 1986 were used to calculate proportionate mortality ratios (PMRs) for construction workers. The mortality data of construction workers were compared first with all workers and then with blue collar workers classified as precision crafts workers, operators, and laborers. Separate PMRs were also provided for white men, black men, white women, and black women. White men who died under the age of 65 had a PMR of 393, an almost four fold increase risk for death from asbestosis. Cause specific PMRs by occupation were provided for specific occupations. Significantly elevated PMRs for various disorders were observed for all trades. Plumbers, insulation workers, roofers, and boilermakers had PMRs of 1,097, 23,197, 1,873, and 3,238, respectively, for asbestosis. Insulation workers also had PMRs of 13,486 and 2,467 for cancer of the lung and pleura, respectively. Electricians had a PMR of 1,056 for cancer of the scrotum and electrical power installers and repairers had a PMR of 2,720 for electrocutions. Comparisons with the blue collar group were similar, with many PMRs decreasing slightly. Six construction trades had PMRs that decreased to less than significant values. Conversely, six trades had PMRs increase to significant levels in comparison with the blue collar group. The relationships between the PMRs and the occupational exposures were discussed. The authors conclude that this study supported the findings of previous reports as well as uncovered previously unrecognized associations between constructions trades and mortality risks.
NIOSH-Author; Construction-industry; Risk-factors; Occupational-diseases; Occupational-health; Mortality-surveys; Electrical-workers; Construction-workers; Insulation-workers; NOMS; National Occupational Mortality Surveillance; Author Keywords: mortality surveillance; occupational health; occupational disease; construction industry; skilled trades occupations; carpenters; electrical workers; silicosis; asbestosis; blue collar workers
C. Robinson, Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations and Field Studies, MS-R18 NIOSH, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati. OH 45226
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Journal Article
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: October 5, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division