Article Text

Download PDFPDF

0129 Work related mortality and hospital admissions among migrant workers in Australia, 1991–2010
  1. Alison Reid1,
  2. Susan Peters1,
  3. Nieves Felipe1,
  4. Erik Lenguerrand2,
  5. Seeromanie Harding2
  1. 1Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia
  2. 2Social and Public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, UK


Objectives One in four of the Australian population is born abroad, with skilled migration encouraged since the mid-1990s. The shift from an industrial to a service based economy has seen a decline in recent decades of work-related injuries (WRIs) and related mortality in Australia. We examine deaths and hospital admissions from WRI, among foreign and Australian-born workers.

Method Work-related mortality and hospital admission rates were derived from tabulated data from the 1991 to 2011 censuses, 1991–2002 national deaths and hospital admissions for 2001–2010. Comparisons across country of birth groups were conducted using incidence rate ratios (IRRs). Gender specific mortality and hospital admission rates were directly standardised (DSRs) using the World Standard Population. Negative binomial regression models compared the country-specific mortality and hospital admission rates of the foreign-born workers with those of Australian-born workers.

Results DSRs and IRRs were generally higher for Australian-born than foreign-born workers. A notable exception was New Zealand born men, among whom there was a 10% (95% CI 9.1–13.1) excess mortality and 24% (95% CI 12.2–12.6) excess hospital admissions. Adjusting for age, gender, year and skill level removed the differences in risk of WRI death between Australian and foreign-born workers.

Conclusions These findings show a reversal of the historic trend of foreign-born workers being at higher risk than the local-born. They signal a need to promote healthy work environments in all industries to fur.ther reduce the risk of WRI to all workers in Australia.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.