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Keywords:

  • gender differences;
  • occupational health and safety;
  • occupational injury;
  • geographic;
  • risk factors

Abstract

Background

The study sought to identify gender differences in work-related repetitive strain injuries (RSI), as well as examine the degree to which non-work factors such as family roles interact with gender to modify RSI risk. Another aim is to examine whether there are potential provincial differences in work-related RSI risk.

Methods

The 2003/2005 Canadian Community Health Survey included over 89,000 respondents who reported working in the past 12 months. Separate multi-level models for men and women were used to identify the correlates of work-related RSIs.

Results

Women reported sustaining more work-related RSIs than men. Also, having one or more children in the household was associated with lower work-related RSI risk for females. Both men and women in British Columbia reported higher work-related RSI rates than in Ontario.

Conclusions

Gender contributes to RSI risk in multiple and diverse ways based on labor market segregation, non-work exposures, and possibly biological vulnerability, which suggests more tailored interventions. Also, the provincial differences indicate that monitoring and surveillance of work injury across jurisdictions can assist in province-wide prevention and occupational health and safety evaluation. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:1180–1189, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.