Detailed analysis of workplace fatalities has identified several high-risk occupations including Forestry/Fishing/Farm workers. However,mortality risk may extend beyond workplace-specific risk. We therefore examined the total unintentional injury mortality risk in US workers across 41 occupational groups.
Data from 1986-2004 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) were pooled for all workers (n=662,585) aged >18 years, with mortality linkage available through 2006. A total of Cause of death was recoded and reported using the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10). Workers were classified into 41 occupations based on US Census Occupational Codes. A total of 2,336 unintentional injury deaths occurred in NHIS workers. Hazard ratios were calculated comparing each occupational group with all other workers. Results were stratified by gender and controlled for age and education level.
For all workers mortality rates were the highest for: Forestry/fishing (Hazard Ratio=2.69; 95% confidence intervals:1.27-5.72), Construction/extractive trades (1.86;1.57-2.21), Mechanics/repairers (1.33;1.09-1.63). For males, highest risk occupations were: Forestry and fishing occupations (2.63;1.24-5.57), Personal service (2.24;1.02-4.94), Farm operators and managers (1.81;1.35-2.42).For females,highest risk occupations were: Construction and extractive trades (4.94;1.99-12.25), Farm operators and managers (3.4;1.71-6.73), and Food service workers (2.07;1.47-2.91).
Similar to workplace-specific mortality surveillance findings we found that workers employed in Forestry/fishing and Construction and extractive trades were at increased risk of unintentional injury mortality. However, present analysis identified new high-risk groups, including Personal service and Food service workers. Additional research is needed to understand both workplace and non-workplace factors which lead to increased risk of death due to injury.