December 25, 2008

Lower work injury rates for foreign-born

Foreign-born workers reported a lower rate of non-fatal work-related injuries than U.S.-born workers, researchers said.

Researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus found that while the rate of injury was lower among foreign-born workers, the severity of the injuries they sustained was greater. Injuries to foreign-born workers were more likely to result in hospitalization and six or more days of missed work than injuries to U.S.-born workers, the researchers said.

With immigrant workers comprising a significant portion of workers in the United States, it's important that we identify the needs of foreign-born workers and address safety issues facing them in the workplace, principle investigator Dr. Huiyan Xiang said in a statement. Using this information will help to develop occupational safety guidelines specifically for foreign-born workers.

The study, published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, found overexertion and falls were the two most common external causes of injury for both foreign-born and U.S.-born workers. Results also showed that Hispanic workers had higher overall work-related injuries than African-Americans and Asians, but these rates were still lower than the rates of non-Hispanic whites.