Friday, August 20, 2010

Injury risk for immigrants and women

There have been few Canadian studies of the relationship between injury rates and immigration status. A 2009 study, for example, reports immigrant men in their first five years in Canada had a lower rate of activity-limiting injuries but were more likely to require medical attention for them (versus Canadian-born male workers).

A new study published in the American journal of industrial medicine examined the risk of experiencing a compensated injury in Montreal, with specific attention to demographic descriptors such as gender, ethnicity, linguistic group and immigration status.

"Are immigrants, ethnic and linguistic minorities over-represented in jobs with a high level of compensated risk? Results from a Montréal, Canada study using census and workers' compensation data" found immigrants as well as ethnic and linguistic minorities tend to work in more dangerous occupations, although this relationship appears stronger for women.

The propensity of immigrants as well as ethnic and linguistic minorities to under-report injuries (as well as the spectre of under-compensation) make it difficult to determine whether this translates into a greater risk of injury. Yet the study does point out a potential source of social inequity in occupational health and safety via the distribution of risky work along demographic lines. More plainly, higher rates of injury among minority groups may be caused by occupational segregation rather than a characteristic or behaviour prevalent within such a group.


  1. A very interesting blog, many places that I had never explored, and I take reference from your blog thanks..


  2. Thanks Nancy. The purpose of the blog is to help connect Athabasca University students with contemporary public policy issues and well as emerging research.