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Patterns of work-related traumatic hand injury among hospitalised workers in the People's Republic of China
  1. Kezhi Jin1,2,3,
  2. David A Lombardi2,3,
  3. Theodore K Courtney2,3,
  4. Gary S Sorock4,
  5. Mingqiang Li5,
  6. Rong Pan5,
  7. Xin Wang6,
  8. Jie Lin7,
  9. Youxin Liang1,
  10. Melissa J Perry2
  1. 1Fudan School of Public Health, Shanghai, PR China
  2. 2Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, USA
  4. 4Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA
  5. 5Liuzhou Municipal Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, Liuzhou, PR China
  6. 6Ningbo No 6 Hospital, Ningbo, PR China
  7. 7Wuxi Municipal Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, Wuxi, PR China
  1. Correspondence to Dr Kezhi Jin, Fudan University School of Public Health 138, Yi Xue Yuan Road, Box 288#, Shanghai 200032, PR China; Jinkz{at}


Objectives This study describes the type, location and severity of work-related acute traumatic hand injuries of 560 workers treated in 11 hospitals in three economically active cities in the People's Republic of China (PRC) over a 2-year period.

Methods A structured questionnaire was used to collect participant's information. Log-linear and logistic models were constructed to identify factors associated with injury occurrence and severity, respectively.

Results Participants (n=560) had a mean age of 31.7 years (SD 10.5), 74.4% were men. 85.4% of participants were employed in manufacturing industries; 51.7% of 750 injuries were to the left hand. The index finger was injured most often and the most severe injury occurred to the right thumb. 68.3% of participants had only a single type of injury (29.7% crushes, 25.7% amputations and 18.5% fractures). Severe injuries occurred most often while working with food products (79.2% severe), furniture (72.2%), non-metallic mineral products (71.4%) and wood products (70.6%). Powered machines were involved in 59.5% of injuries. Injury frequency was associated with gender (male vs female, odds ratio (OR) 2.9, 95% CI 2.4 to 3.5) and company size (≤100 vs >100 employees, OR 2.5, 95% CI 2.1 to 3.1). Injury severity was associated with gender (male vs female OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.4 to 0.9) and powered machine use (OR 2.2, 95% CI 1.3 to 3.7).

Conclusions The present study suggests that working in manufacturing industries and working with powered machines are the primary sources of severe hand injuries in hospitalised workers in economically active areas of the PRC.

  • China
  • epidemiology
  • hand trauma
  • occupational
  • public health

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  • Funding This study was supported by the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, USA, and the Guangxi Science Foundation, People's Republic of China (no 0542114).

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The study was approved by the Fudan School of Public Health Institutional Review Board, the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety Institutional Review Board and the Harvard School of Public Health Human Subjects Committee.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.