Work injuries among young people: a prospective study.
Breslin-FC; Tompa-E; Amick-BC III; Hogg-Johnson-S
NIOSH 2006 Nov; :1-29
This study on young workers 16 to 24 years old had two aims: 1. To examine the relative contribution of individual and job characteristics to work-related disability risk among young workers; and, 2. To identify any earnings losses that young workers may experience in the year after a work related disability. Aim #1: Antecedents of youth work-related disability: Issue addressed: This study examined the relative contribution of individual factors and job characteristics to the risk of lost days of work due to a work-related disability among Canadians 16 to 24 years old. Approach: Our analyses used a representative sample of young workers from a longitudinal survey. Our regression analysis of work-related disability included the following predictors: age, gender, physical demands of the job (manual, non-manual, and mixed), hours worked, highest education achieved, multiple concurrent job, job tenure, school activity, and living in a rural or urban area. Key findings: Young workers holding manual jobs were at increased risk for a work disability absence compared to young workers with non-manual jobs. Low education level was associated with the increased likelihood of a work disability absence. Other demographic factors such as gender were not independently associated with work disability absences. Implications: This is the first longitudinal study on young workers that found that job characteristics are the predominant risk factors for work disability absences for young workers, and individual factors such as gender were not independently associated with the outcome. Young workers with less education appear to be particularly vulnerable, possibly due to inadequate job skills or particularly dangerous jobs. Aim #2: Economic consequences of youth work-related disability: Issue addressed: Our primary objective in this part of the study was to evaluate the earnings losses that young workers may experience in the year after a work disability absence. Assessing the short-term economic losses of young people after a work injury would provide an indication of whether work injuries do influence the initial trajectory of one's work life. Approach: Our sample consisted of workers aged 16 to 24 years from a longitudinal survey on a representative sample of Canadians. Young workers who lost 5+ days of work due to a work disability/illness (i.e., work disability absence) were matched to uninjured controls based on age, gender, pre-absence earnings, and student status. This matching procedure resulted in 173 cases and 795 controls. The outcome measure was the difference between earnings in the year after the work disability episode and those of the uninjured controls. Key findings: Our analyses indicated that injured young workers earned $1113.00 less than their uninjured controls, a statistically significant difference (p < .05). This earnings loss was not due to between-group differences in school activity or work hours in the year after the work absence. Implications: This is the first study to estimate the impact of work-related disability on earnings losses among young workers. Our findings indicate that earnings losses beyond the immediate event can occur to young workers. This is important because earnings losses early in the work life may affect one's overall earnings trajectory later on. Documenting the economic impacts of work injuries early in one's work life can inform policy debates on the allocation of resources to control workplace hazards where teenagers and young adults work and on the determination of fair and adequate benefits for young workers.
Age-factors; Age-groups; Worker-health; Injuries; Diseases; Disabled-workers; Children
Institute for Work & Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto, Ontario, M5G 2E9, Canada
Final Grant Report
Occupational Health Disparities
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Institute for Work and Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada