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Estimating the relationship between precarious employment and occupational injury: do the registry data tell the whole story?
  1. Mari Holm Ingelsrud
  1. Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mari Holm Ingelsrud, Work Research Institute, Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Oslo, Norway; mari-holm.ingelsrud{at}

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Do employees with a precarious attachment to the employer have higher risk of occupational injuries (OIs) than non-precarious workers? Kreshpaj et al 1 have cleverly analysed Swedish OI registry data and show that the risk of OIs varies between different employment relationships. The results are interesting and somewhat puzzling. On the one hand, precarious workers, as measured by a summative index, have a decreased risk of OIs. However, when the researchers investigate the risk associated with each dimension of precariousness, they find that male agency workers, multiple jobholders of both genders and female workers earning less than 80% of the median have a higher risk of OIs than their non-precarious counterparts. Contrary, female agency workers, workers in unstable employment, female workers with earnings above 120% of the median and workers at workplaces with low Collective Bargaining Agreement coverage have a lower risk of OIs.

These results leave us with some unanswered questions. Why is precariousness associated with a lower risk of OIs? Why should agency work be riskier for male than female workers? Or low income be a risk to only female workers? Do the registry data tell the whole story?

Precarious employment is characterised by insecurity, low income …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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