Background Characteristics of the host (e.g. socio-demographics, behaviour), the agent (energy-transmitting objects) and the environment (e.g. physical, organisational) are the main determinants of unintentional injuries. Focusing on host characteristics the present analysis tries to clarify whether health-related determinants and mental work strain contribute to the explanation of workplace injuries (WI).
Methods The phone survey German Health Update 2010 (n = 22,050) provides information on up to three medically treated WI within one year (gainfully employed 18–70 ys, n = 14,041). Logistic regression considering socio-demographic (e.g. gender, age), occupational (profession, work strains) and health-related determinants (chronic conditions, behaviour) is applied to identify relevant risk factors.
Results Overall, 2.8% (CI95 2.4–3.2) of persons gainfully employed reported at least one WI (women: 0.9% CI: 95 0.7–1.2; men: 4.3% CI: 95 3.7–5.0). In the final model, male sex (OR 3.2), age 18–29 (OR 1.5) as well as agricultural (OR 5.4), technical (OR 3.4), skilled service (OR 4.2) or manual (OR 5.1) and unskilled service (OR 3.1) or manual (OR 5.0) profession is associated with a significantly higher probability of WI. The same holds for work strain such as heavy carrying (OR 1.8), awkward postures (OR 1.5), environmental stress (e.g. noise, heat, emissions) (OR 1.5) and working under pressure (OR 1.4). Among the health-related variables lack of physical activity (OR 1.5) and obesity (OR 1.7) entail significantly higher WI probabilities. Increased ORs for harmful alcohol consumption, regular smoking, chronic back pain, working overtime or shift-work decrease and lose significance when models are adjusted for occupations and physical work strain.
Conclusions Certain health-related factors as well as mental work strain increase the probability for WI or are mediated by occupational factors. These aspects should be considered when tailoring measures for the prevention of WI.
- workplace injuries
- occupational health
- risk behaviour
- chronic diseases