New electric-shock job exposure matrix

Authors


  • Disclosure statement: The authors report no conflicts of interests.

Abstract

Background

To evaluate a consistent association between jobs in “electric” occupations and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a comprehensive job exposure matrix (JEM) that includes electric shocks and magnetic fields (MF) is needed.

Methods

We used incident electric shocks and electrocutions from two available data sources along with expert judgment to create a JEM that was integrated into an existing MF JEM. The final JEM contained ordinal electric-shock exposure assignments for 501 job titles.

Results

Main occupational groups experiencing the electric shocks were precision production, craft, and repair occupations. Specific jobs with the highest proportion of shocks per 100,000 workers were: electrical apprentices (99.7), mechanic and repairer helpers (74.0), hoist and winch operators (63.3), and electrical power installers (52.4). Examples of job titles with low electric-shock exposures were administrative support occupations, data-key entry operators, and waiters and waitresses.

Conclusions

Combining publicly available data with an expert panel is a viable method to construct an electric-shock MF JEM. This JEM will allow an evaluation of association between electric shocks and neurodegenerative diseases. Am. J. Ind. Med. 55:232–240, 2012. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Ancillary