Disclosure Statement: This study has no conflict of interest.
Subcontractors and increased risk for work-related diseases and absenteeism
Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013
Copyright © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume 56, Issue 11, pages 1296–1306, November 2013
How to Cite
Min, K. B., Park, S. G., Song, J. S., Yi, K. H., Jang, T. W. and Min, J. Y. (2013), Subcontractors and increased risk for work-related diseases and absenteeism. Am. J. Ind. Med., 56: 1296–1306. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22219
- Issue published online: 5 OCT 2013
- Article first published online: 21 JUN 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 20 MAY 2013
- Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Grant Number: 2012R1A1A1041318
- occupational disease;
- occupational injury;
- working condition
Despite increasing reliance on subcontracting in many economic sectors, there is little information available on occupational health and safety issues among subcontractor employees. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of subcontracting on self-reported health problems and absences due to occupational accidents and sickness using a nationally representative sample from South Korea.
The data used were sampled from the second wave of the Korean Working Conditions Survey . Information on 3,282 parent firm employees and 728 subcontractor employees was obtained. For the logistic regression model, the outcomes were work-related health problems and absenteeism. The independent variables were personal and occupational characteristics, job aspects, and working hazards.
Subcontractor employees were significantly more likely to experience health problems than the employee at parent firms. In particular, subcontractors' risk of injuries and anxiety/depression increased twofold (odd ratios, OR = 2.01, 95% confidence interval, CIs, 1.24–3.26) and threefold (OR = 2.95, 95% CIs 1.52–5.73), respectively, after controlling for potential variables. In addition, subcontractor employees were three times more likely than employees at parent firms to miss work due to illness (OR = 3.56; 95% CIs 2.02–6.26). Working conditions, especially those related to job aspects and workplace exposures, attenuated these risks.
Subcontracting workers were found to have a higher risk of work-related diseases and a higher absenteeism rate than parent firm workers. Our study highlights the need to protect and improve the occupational health and safety of subcontractor employees. Am. J. Ind. Med. 56:1296–1306, 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.