Objectives Young construction workers are at increased risk for occupational injuries. This study aimed to identify factors associated with work-related injuries within this worker group in order to provide insight for injury interventions.
Method Data from nine waves (1988–2000) of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort (NLSY79, N=12 686), were studied. Construction workers included those who worked in the construction industry for at least one wave. Job exposures were measured by frequency and types of physical efforts, number of waves worked in blue-collar jobs, and hours worked per week. Health behaviours were composed of body mass index, and dose of tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and cocaine use. Multivariate logistic regression was employed to estimate the association between selected factors and work-related injuries after controlling for possible confounders.
Results During the 12-year follow-up period, 47% of the construction cohort experienced work-related injuries compared to 29% for their non-construction counterparts. The logistic regression results indicated that both job exposures and personal behaviours were associated with work-related injuries: blue-collar occupations (OR =4.24, 95% CI: 2.54–7.07); physical efforts (OR = 1.72, 95% CI: 1.20–2.48); worked over 50 h per week (OR = 1.91, 95% CI: 1.11–3.28); rotating/split shift (OR=2.99, 95% CI: 1.25–7.16); obesity (OR = 1.58, 95% CI: 1.04–2.41); and cocaine use on more than 10 occasions (OR=1.98, 95% CI: 1.31–2.99).
Conclusions The results demonstrated that construction interventions should be developed to address preventable risk factors. Young construction workers could benefit not only from enhanced work-place injury preventions, but also health behaviour interventions.
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