Do differences in work disability duration by interjurisdictional claim status vary by industry and jurisdictional context?

Publication type
Journal article
Macpherson RA, Koehoorn M, Neis B, McLeod CB
Date published
2021 Jan 01
Occupational & Environmental Medicine
Open Access?

OBJECTIVES: To examine whether differences in work disability duration between out-of-province and within-province workers differed by industry and jurisdictional context. METHODS: Workers' compensation data were used to identify comparable lost time, work-related injury and musculoskeletal disorder claims accepted in six Canadian jurisdictions between 2006 and 2015. Out-of-province workers were identified as workers who filed claims in a different provincial jurisdiction to their province of residence. Coarsened exact matching was used to match out-of-province workers with within-province workers based on observable characteristics. Quantile regression models were used to estimate differences in cumulative disability days paid between out-of-province workers and within-province workers at different percentiles in the disability distribution, adjusting for confounders. RESULTS: Compared with within-province workers, out-of-province workers were paid more disability days even after matching and adjusting on observable characteristics. Differences between the two groups of workers were observed for short-duration, medium-duration and long-duration claims (differences of 1.57, 6.39, 21.42, 46.43 days at the 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentiles, respectively). Industry-specific models showed that differences were largest in construction, transportation and warehousing, and mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Jurisdiction-specific models showed that differences were largest in the western provinces where out-of-province workers were concentrated in those sectors. CONCLUSIONS: Out-of-province workers are a vulnerable group with respect to risk of longer work disability duration. Workers' compensation systems, employers and healthcare providers may need to tailor specific interventions for these types of workers, particularly those employed in resource economy-dependent regions that are far from their regions of residence