240557 Occupational Injuries among U.S. Workers with Disabilities

Monday, October 31, 2011: 2:48 PM

Weiyan Zhao, MD, PhD , Center for Injury Research and Policy, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Krista K. Wheeler, MS , Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Bo Lu, PhD , College of Public Health, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH
Huiyun Xiang, MD, MPH, PhD , Center for Injury Research and Policy, The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, OH
Objective: Much remains to be learned regarding disabilities and occupational safety among U.S. workers. This study examined occupational injury risk factors and injury patterns among workers with pre-existing disabilities. Methods: The National Health Interview Survey 1997-2004 data were analyzed. Disability status was determined from questions based on the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. A self-reported 3-month cumulative incidence of occupational injuries was recorded. Injury prevalence, the leading causes of injury, activities at time of injury and types of injury were compared between workers with disabilities and workers without disabilities. The impact of disabilities on the risk of occupational injuries was examined with survey-weight adjusted multivariable logistic and Poisson regression models that control for the confounding effects of socio-demographics and injury risk behavior variables. Results: From 1997 to 2004, 360,204 workers were included in our study, and 5.3% of them had disabilities. The prevalence of occupational injuries among workers with disabilities was nearly three times higher than that among workers without disabilities. Among individuals with pre-existing disabilities, higher percentages of young workers (25-44 years), African American workers, and construction workers reported occupational injuries, and major injury causes were falls and overexertion/strenuous movements. Disabilities were significantly associated with an elevated risk of occupational injury in multivariable logistic regression adjusting for covariates. Conclusions: U.S. workers with disabilities suffer more occupational injuries than those without disabilities. Injuries among workers with disabilities have distinct patterns, making them predictable and preventable. Key words: occupational injury, disability, worker

Learning Areas:
Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate an association between workers with disabilities and occupational injuries. Identify patterns of occupational injuries among people with disabilities.

Keywords: Disability, Injury Risk

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I oversee programs of secondary injuries among US workers with disabilities
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.