Occupational injuries in Canadian youth: an analysis of 22 years of surveillance data collected from the Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program

Publication type
Journal article
Pratt B Cheesman J Breslin FC Do MT
Date published
2016 May 01
Health Promotion and Chronic Disease Prevention in Canada
Open Access?

INTRODUCTION: Inexperience, inadequate training and differential hazard exposure may contribute to a higher risk of injury in young workers. This study describes features of work-related injuries in young Canadians to identify areas for potential occupational injury prevention strategies. METHODS: We analyzed records for youth aged 10-17 presenting to Canadian Hospitals Injury Reporting and Prevention Program (CHIRPP) emergency departments (EDs) from 1991-2012. We classified work-related injuries into job groups corresponding to National Occupational Classification for Statistics 2006 codes and conducted descriptive analyses to assess injury profiles by job group. Age- and sex-adjusted proportionate injury ratios (PIRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were calculated to compare the nature of injuries between occupational and non-occupational events overall and by job group. RESULTS: Of the 6046 injuries (0.72% of events in this age group) that occurred during work, 63.9% were among males. Youth in food and beverage occupations (54.6% males) made up 35.4% of work-related ED visits and 10.2% of work-related hospital admissions, while primary industry workers (76.4% males) made up 4.8% of work-related ED visits and 24.6% of work-related hospital admissions. PIRs were significantly elevated for burns (9.77, 95% CI: 8.94-10.67), crushing/amputations (6.72, 95% CI: 5.79-7.80), electrical injuries (6.04, 95% CI: 3.64-10.00), bites (5.09, 95% CI: 4.47-5.79), open wounds (2.68, 95% CI: 2.59-2.78) and eye injuries (2.50, 95% CI: 2.20-2.83) in occupational versus non-occupational events. These were largely driven by high proportional incidence of injury types unique to job groups. CONCLUSION: Our findings provide occupation group-specific information on common injury types that can be used to support targeted approaches to reduce incidence of youth injury in the workplace