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Original research
Do differences in work disability duration by interjurisdictional claim status vary by industry and jurisdictional context?

Abstract

Objectives To examine whether differences in work disability duration between out-of-province and within-province workers differed by industry and jurisdictional context.

Methods Workers’ compensation data were used to identify comparable lost time, work-related injury and musculoskeletal disorder claims accepted in six Canadian jurisdictions between 2006 and 2015. Out-of-province workers were identified as workers who filed claims in a different provincial jurisdiction to their province of residence. Coarsened exact matching was used to match out-of-province workers with within-province workers based on observable characteristics. Quantile regression models were used to estimate differences in cumulative disability days paid between out-of-province workers and within-province workers at different percentiles in the disability distribution, adjusting for confounders.

Results Compared with within-province workers, out-of-province workers were paid more disability days even after matching and adjusting on observable characteristics. Differences between the two groups of workers were observed for short-duration, medium-duration and long-duration claims (differences of 1.57, 6.39, 21.42, 46.43 days at the 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles, respectively). Industry-specific models showed that differences were largest in construction, transportation and warehousing, and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Jurisdiction-specific models showed that differences were largest in the western provinces where out-of-province workers were concentrated in those sectors.

Conclusions Out-of-province workers are a vulnerable group with respect to risk of longer work disability duration. Workers’ compensation systems, employers and healthcare providers may need to tailor specific interventions for these types of workers, particularly those employed in resource economy-dependent regions that are far from their regions of residence.

  • sickness absence
  • rehabilitation
  • epidemiology
  • musculoskeletal
  • migrant workers

Data availability statement

The data analysed in this study are not publicly available. The data were under various information sharing agreements adhering to Canadian privacy legislation that impose legal restrictions in accessing, using and further disclosing of workers’ compensation data. Furthermore, British Columbia privacy legislation restricts research data to be accessible in Canada only. As this is a comparable study, all the data fall under this legislation.

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