The unequal distribution of occupational health and safety risks among immigrants to Canada compared to Canadian-born labour market participants: 1993-2005

TitleThe unequal distribution of occupational health and safety risks among immigrants to Canada compared to Canadian-born labour market participants: 1993-2005
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2010
AuthorsSmith, PM, Mustard, CA
JournalSafety ScienceSaf Sci
Volume48
Issue10
Pagination1296 - 1303
Date Published2010///
RefMan ID (Library)38805
Abstract

Objectives To examine the prevalence of occupational health and safety risk factors among immigrants to Canada compared to Canadian-born labour force participants.Methods Using data from Statistic Canada's Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, we examined the differential probabilities of six different occupational health and safety risks: non-membership in a union or collective bargaining agreement; employment in physically demanding occupations; employment in a workplace with less than 20 employees; regular shift work; irregular shift work; and having non-permanent employment. Our main independent variables were length of time in Canada, visible minority status, mother tongue, and location where highest level of education was attained. Models were adjusted for age, gender, education, marital status, province of residence, living in an urban or rural location, and industry group.Results Of the six occupational health and safety risks examined we found that our main independent variables describing aspects of immigration status were associated with five; the exception being irregular shift work. Adjustment for industry did not attenuate these relationships to a large extent.Conclusions Immigrants to Canada are faced with many occupational health and safety risks compared to Canadian-born respondents. These risks may be heightened among immigrants as they may not have knowledge of workplace rights and protections or have problems communicating health and safety risks or concerns. The timely provision information on occupational health and safety to immigrants before they start working should be a priority as they integrate into the Canadian labour market

DOI10.1016/j.ssci.2010.03.020
Reprint EditionIN FILE
Citation Key38805