Precarious employment and occupational injuries in Sweden between 2006 and 2014: a register-based study

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  • Kreshpaj, Bertina
  • David H Wegman
  • Bo Burstrom
  • Letitia Davis
  • Tomas Hemmingsson
  • Carin Håkansta
  • Johanna Jonsson
  • Gun Johansson
  • Katarina Kjellberg
  • Nestor Sanchez Martinez
  • Nuria Matilla-Santander
  • Cecilia Orellana
  • Theo Bodin

BACKGROUND: Precarious employment (PE) has been suggested as a risk factor for occupational injuries (OIs). However, several issues such as under-reporting and time at risk pose obstacles to obtaining unbiased estimates of risk OBJECTIVE: To investigate if PE is a risk factor for OIs in Sweden.

METHODS: This register-based study included employed workers aged 18-65, resident in Sweden between 2006 and 2014. PE was operationalised as a multidimensional construct (score) and by its five items (contract insecurity, contractual temporariness, multiple jobs/multiple sectors, income level, collective bargaining agreement). Our outcome was OI in the following year. Pooled ORs for OIs in relation to PE and PE items were calculated by means of multivariate logistic regression models for women and men separately.

RESULTS: Precarious workers were at lower risk of OIs as compared with non-precarious workers among both males and females (OR <1) also when applying weights for under-reporting and adjusting for time at risk (part-time work). Male agencies workers had a higher risk of OIs (OR 1.19, 95% CI 1.15 to 1.23), as did male and female workers in multiple jobs/sectors (OR 1.25, 95% CI 1.23 to 1.28 and OR 1.10, 95% CI 1.07 to 1.13 respectively), and female workers in the low-income groups (OR 1.11, 95% CI 1.09 to 1.12). Low coverage of collective bargaining agreements was associated with a lower risk of OIs for both men and women (OR 0.30, 95% CI 0.29 to 0.31 and OR 0.26, 95% CI 0.24 to 0.27, respectively).

CONCLUSIONS: While several mechanisms may explain why precarious workers in Sweden present lower risks of OIs, several dimensions of PE such as temp agency work and multiple job-holding could be important risk factors for OIs and merit further research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational and Environmental Medicine
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)179–185
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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© Author(s) (or their employer(s)) 2022. Re-use permitted under CC BY. Published by BMJ.

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