The Prevalence and Patterns of Occupational Injury

Among South Texas High School Students

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Abstract of Journal Article -- August 2003

By Nancy F. Weller, BSN, DrPH; Sharon P. Cooper, PhD; Karen Basen-Engquist, PhD, MPH; Steve H. Kelder, PhD, MPH; and Susan R. Tortolero, PhD

High school students frequently work long hours during the school year, increasing their risk of injury. Few studies have examined the relation between work injury and weekly work hours. This paper describes injuries among students in South Texas, where economically disadvantaged Hispanic students are heavily represented. Anonymous surveys were collected from 3565 secondary students in 23 schools. Self-reported data included weekly work hours and type of injury and job when injured. A dose-response effect was observed: increasing weekly work hours were related to injury (1-10 hours, adjusted odds ratio [AOR] = 1.0; 11-20 hours, 1.4; 21+ hours, 1.5), P <.000. The AOR for restaurant work was 3.2; for construction, 3.0; for factory, office, or skilled labor, 2.9; for agriculture, 2.8; for yard work, 2.0; and for babysitting (1.0). Males (OR = 1.5) were more prone to injury. High-intensity weekly work increased the likelihood of injury. Prevention efforts should be targeted to youth to reduce work injuries.

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