Occupational health disparities: a state public health-based approach.
Am J Ind Med 2014 May; 57(5):596-604
Background This report used employment and public health surveillance data in Michigan to characterize work-related race/ethnic health disparities. Methods U.S. Census data were used to calculate the percent by race/Hispanic ethnicity in occupational groups ranked by three measures for potential work-related health risks. Disparities by race/ethnicity were generated from occupational health surveillance data. Results Blacks and Hispanics were over-represented in lower wage-higher manual-labor occupations and in highest risk occupations. Blacks were at greater risk of silicosis, workrelated asthma, and work-related burns than whites, and Hispanics had higher rates of work-related acute fatal injuries and pesticide injury than non-Hispanics. Conclusions Michigan employment data indicated that blacks and Hispanics were overly represented in lower paid and more hazardous jobs. Occupational health surveillance data confirmed disparate risks for some illnesses and injuries. This approach can be used in other states to bring awareness to policy makers and direct interventions.
Workers; Work-environment; Demographic-characteristics; Sociological-factors; Racial-factors; Physical-stress; Physiological-effects; Physiological-stress; Physiology; Psychological-effects; Psychological-reactions; Psychological-stress; Psychology; Behavior; Surveillance-programs; Silicosis; Respiratory-system-disorders; Pulmonary-system; Pulmonary-system-disorders; Pulmonary-function; Burns; Traumatic-injuries; Injuries; Hazards; Pesticides; Exposure-levels; Risk-factors;
Author Keywords: health disparities; occupational health surveillance; work-related injury/illness
Cassandra Okechukwu, MSN,ScD, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Kresge 722, Boston, MA 02115
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Michigan State University