Title

A comprehensive examination of the effect of age on occupational accidents and injuries at a major urban health care facility

Date of Award

1996

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

Ergonomics

First Committee Member

Sara J. Czaja, Committee Chair

Second Committee Member

Shihab S. Asfour, Committee Member

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to investigate the effects of age, professional classification and length of service on the job, on the rate of occupational accidents, types of accidents, and types of injuries among health care workers.A total of 4514 accidents were studied. The independent variables used were: age groups, professional classifications, and length of service groups. Dependent variable used was incident rate. Regression models were fitted using logistic regression to approximate Poisson regression. Plots of incident rates were used along with test results to examine the relationships of the independent variables with accident rate and with each other.The results indicated that age, professional classification, and length of service, significantly influenced rate of accidents. Professional classification had a greater influence on the rate of accidents than age or length of service. Between age and length of service, age had the greater influence on accident rates. The interaction effect of age and length of service was greater than the main effects of age and length of service, by themselves. Large variability of accident rates was found among types of accidents and types of injuries. The variability of accident rates among types of accidents and injuries, was in fact, much greater than the variability in rates among professional classifications, age groups, or length of service groups.The results indicated that it will be more effective to use professional classification as the subject criterion for directing intervention strategies, than age or length of service. Between age and length of service, age will be the more effective criterion. Results also showed that while using age and length of service, subsetting age within length of service or vice versa, would be more effective than using age or length of service by themselves. The large variability in accident rates found among accident and injury types indicated that if aggregate accident rates were used to direct prevention strategies, the effects of high frequency accident and injury types predominant within particular subject criterion groups, would be obscured. Thus, results recommended that prevention efforts be focused on specific high frequency accident and injury types within subject criterion groups, for greater effectiveness.The predominant accident and injury types for overall population, professional classifications, age, and length of service groups were tabulated and recommendations made for their control and prevention.

Keywords

Health Sciences, Occupational Health and Safety; Engineering, Industrial

Link to Full Text

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