Wounding the messenger: the new economy makes occupational health indicators too good to be true.
Azaroff LS; Levenstein C; Wegman DH
Int J Health Serv 2004 Apr; 34(2):271-303
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and workers' compensation insurers reported dramatic drops in rates of occupational injuries and illnesses during the 1990s. The authors argue that far-reaching changes in the 1980s and 1990s, including the rise of precarious employment, falling wages and opportunities, and the creation of a super-vulnerable population of immigrant workers, probably helped create this apparent trend by preventing employees from reporting some injuries and illnesses. Changes in the health care system, including loss of access to health care for growing numbers of workers and increased obstacles to the use of workers' compensation, compounded these effects by preventing the diagnosis and documentation of some occupational injuries and illnesses. Researchers should examine these forces more closely to better understand trends in occupational health.
Occupational-health; Occupational-hazards; Health-care; Health-hazards; Work-environment; Safety-measures; Injuries; Occupational-exposure
Lenore S. Azaroff, ScD, University of Massachusetts Lowell Work Environment Department, One University Ave, Lowell, MA 01854
International Journal of Health Services
University of Lowell Research Foundation, Lowell, Massachusetts