Occupation and Risk for Injuries

Authors: Safa Abdalla, Spenser Apramian, Linda Cantley, Mark Cullen


Rates of occupational injuries have increased in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) due to the export of labor-intensive and more dangerous industrial production to countries with lower wages and less stringent working regulations. In high-income countries (HICs) the popularity of temporary work and forms of flexible employment contributes to more precarious work environments since occupational safety and health (OSH) laws may not apply. Most research about workplace hazards has occurred in HICs and concerns physical exposures, psychosocial stressors, and work organization, and evidence from LMICs suggests similar findings. Globalization plays a role too since countries undergoing rapid industrialization lack OSH training and education and often rely on hiring migrants without previous experience in industrial settings. Viable interventions vary from country to country, and the cost associated with engineering and personal protection may preclude their implementation. Legislation, regulation, and enforcement form the cornerstone for workplace safety and health risk management. Specific interventions are identified for the industries of health care, construction, manufacturing, and agriculture.