Green Collar Workers: An Emerging Workforce in the Environmental Sector

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Abstract

Objective:

We describe the socio-demographic, occupational, and health characteristics of “green collar” workers, a vital and emerging workforce in energy-efficiency and sustainability.

Methods:

We linked data from the 2004 to 2012 National Health Interview Surveys (NHIS) and US Occupational Information Network (O*NET). Descriptive and logistic regression analyses were conducted using green collar worker status as the outcome (n = 143,346).

Results:

Green collar workers are more likely than non-green workers to be men, age 25 to 64 years, obese, and with less than or equal to high school (HS) education. They are less likely to be racial/ethnic minorities and employed in small companies or government jobs.

Conclusions:

Green collar workers have a distinct socio-demographic and occupational profile, and this workforce deserves active surveillance to protect its workers’ safety. The NHIS-O*NET linkage represents a valuable resource to further identify the unique exposures and characteristics of this occupational sector.

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