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0131 Taking risks and survival jobs: foreign-born workers and work-related injuries in Australia
  1. Alison Reid1,
  2. Erik Lenguerrand2,
  3. Iracema Santos1,
  4. Ursula Read2,
  5. Anthony LaMontagne3,
  6. Lin Fritschi1,
  7. 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
  3. 3VicHealth Centre for the Promotion of Mental Health and Community Wellbeing, Melbourne School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia


Objectives Higher rates of work-related injuries (WRI) have been reported among foreign-born workers in many countries, but little is known about the situation in Australia. The aim of the study was to examine WRI among foreign-born workers in Australia.

Method This was a two phase mixed methods study. The first stage used the 2005/6 and 2009/10 Australian national Multi-Purpose Household Survey (MPHS) information on WRI occurring in the previous year (N = 36 702). Logistic regression examined the relationship between WRI and region of birth (Australia born =baseline), and whether the effect varied by period of arrival in Australia, age, sex, industry and working conditions. In the second stage, purposively sampled foreign-born workers and stakeholders from 22 countries took part in individual interviews (n = 17) or focus groups (n = 75). A concurrent thematic analysis was conducted.

Results In the MPHS, more WRI were reported by workers in agriculture, manufacturing, construction, hospitality and transport industries than in the service industry, and by those in unfavourable working conditions (e.g. unpaid leave). Migrant status, regardless of region of birth, was generally not associated with higher WRI reporting. Qualitative interviews suggested that understanding and practice of Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) was influenced by education, skill level, job security, dependent relatives in home countries and by social ties in communities.

Conclusions Whereas the MPHS point to higher risks related to area of work rather than migrant status, qualitative interviews suggest under-reporting of WRI among low income migrants mainly due to fear of losing their jobs.

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