Occupational injury among full-time, part-time and casual health care workers

Statistics and Evaluation Department, Occupational Health and Safety Agency for Healthcare, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
Occupational Medicine (Impact Factor: 1.03). 04/2008; 58(5):348-54. DOI: 10.1093/occmed/kqn026
Source: PubMed


Previous epidemiological studies have conflicting suggestions on the association of occupational injury risks with employment category across industries. This specific issue has not been examined for direct patient care occupations in the health care sector.
To investigate whether work-related injury rates differ by employment category (part time, full time or casual) for registered nurses (RNs) in acute care and care aides (CAs) in long-term facilities.
Incidents of occupational injury resulting in compensated time loss from work, over a 1-year period within three health regions in British Columbia (BC), Canada, were extracted from a standardized operational database. Detailed analysis was conducted using Poisson regression modeling.
Among 8640 RNs in acute care, 37% worked full time, 24% part time and 25% casual. The overall rates of injuries were 7.4, 5.3 and 5.5 per 100 person-years, respectively. Among the 2967 CAs in long-term care, 30% worked full time, 20% part time and 40% casual. The overall rates of injuries were 25.8, 22.9 and 18.1 per 100 person-years, respectively. In multivariate models, having adjusted for age, gender, facility and health region, full-time RNs had significantly higher risk of sustaining injuries compared to part-time and casual workers. For CAs, full-time workers had significantly higher risk of sustaining injuries compared to casual workers.
Full-time direct patient care occupations have greater risk of injury compared to part-time and casual workers within the health care sector.

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    • "Incident rates per 100,000 productive hours (PH) were calculated using the health region payroll PH (defined as paid and overtime hours). Adjusted relative risk of incidents was derived using Poisson regression, with the occurrence of a workrelated event as the dependent variable, to examine its association with sub-sector (acute, long-term or community care), gender, age group and occupation as injury rates have been found to differ by these characteristics (Alamgir et al. 2008). As healthcare workers are categorised by facility, conventional Poisson regression modelling would not be an appropriate statistics technique. "
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    • "Further, TFS scheduling allows for a slight over-supply of labour on many shifts. Right to refuse unsafe work Nurses in most settings have limited rights.(Province of Ontario 1990) Rate of injury for hospital nurses, in one study, found a 7.4% rate for full time workers and a 5.3% rate for part-time workers (Alamgir et al. 2008) . "

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