The relationship between age and work injury in British Columbia: examining differences across time and nature of injury

Publication type
Journal article
Authors
Smith PM Bielecky A Mustard C Beaton DE Hogg-Johnson S Ibrahim S Koehoorn M McLeod CB Saunders R Scott-Marshall H
Date published
2013 Feb 05
Journal
Journal of Occupational Health
Volume
55
Pages
98-107
Open Access?
Yes
Abstract

Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the relationship between age and the lost-time workers' compensation claims in British Columbia, Canada, over three time periods (1997-98, 2001-02 and 2005-06). We examined if the relationship between age and risk of lost-time claims is consistent over time and for different nature of injury categories. Methods: Secondary analyses of lost-time workers' compensation claims combined with estimates of person-years of exposure generated from the Canadian Labour Force Survey were performed. Analyses examined the relationship between age and claim risk using sex-stratified regression models, adjusting for time period, occupational characteristics and whether the claimant was employed in the goods or service industry. Multiplicative interaction terms were used to examine if the relationship between age and lost-time claim risk changed over time. Seven separate regression models were generated to explore the variation in the effect of age across nature of injury groups. Results: We observed important differences in the relationship between age and risk of injury depending on the nature of injury examined. A negative relationship was observed between age and lost-time claims for open wounds, while a positive relationship was observed for traumatic injuries to bones, nerves and the spinal cord. We found no evidence that the relationship between age and risk of lost-time claims changed over time periods. Conclusions: The association between age and risk of lost-time claims depends on the nature of injury under investigation. We found no evidence that the relationship between age and overall lost-time claim risk has changed over time in British Columbia