Are female healthcare workers at higher risk of occupational injury?


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Abstract

BackgroundDifferential risks of occupational injuries by gender have been examined across various industries. With the number of employees in healthcare rising and an overwhelming proportion of this workforce being female, it is important to address this issue in this growing sector.AimsTo determine whether compensated work-related injuries among females are higher than their male colleagues in the British Columbia healthcare sector.MethodsIncidents of occupational injury resulting in compensated days lost from work over a 1-year period for all healthcare workers were extracted from a standardized operational database and the numbers of productive hours were obtained from payroll data. Injuries were grouped into all injuries and musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs). Detailed analysis was conducted using Poisson regression modelling.ResultsA total of 42 332 employees were included in the study of whom 11% were male and 89% female. When adjusted for age, occupation, sub-sector, employment category, health region and facility, female workers had significantly higher risk of all injuries [rate ratio (95% CI)=1.58 (1.24–2.01)] and MSIs [1.43 (1.11–1.85)] compared to their male colleagues.ConclusionsOccupational health and safety initiatives should be gender sensitive and developed accordingly.

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