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Characterizing Hazards and Injuries Among Home Care Workers

Wipfli, Brad PhD; Olson, Ryan PhD; Wright, Robert R. PhD; Garrigues, Layla RN; Lees, Joanne BA

Home Healthcare Nurse:
doi: 10.1097/NHH.0b013e31825b10ee

This project extends research on hazardous exposures and injuries among home care workers. Historical data from Oregon home care workers were analyzed to identify the most common lost time injuries and contributing factors, and 7 focus groups were conducted with workers (n = 53) to gather data on demographics, health, and perceptions of occupational hazards. Results indicate that workers are at particular risk for back, knee, and shoulder injuries during client and material moving tasks and that workers' self-reported task exposures and risk perceptions are highly aligned with injury data.

Author Information

Brad Wipfli, PhD, is a Research Associate at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Ryan Olson, PhD, is a Scientist at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Robert R. Wright, PhD, is a Postdoctoral Researcher at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Layla Garrigues, RN, is a Doctoral Student at Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon.

Joanne Lees, BA, is a Trainer with Hollin Consulting, Bollington, Macclesfield, Cheshire, England.

The authors are grateful to Francisco Borja Lopez de Castro of the University of Valencia for his help with focus groups, data entry, and analysis.

This project was supported with funding from the Northwest Center for Occupational Health & Safety 5 T42 OH008433–03 (Noah Seixas, PI).

The authors declare no conflicts of interests.

Address for correspondence: Robert R. Wright, PhD, Center for Research on Occupational & Environmental Toxicology, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., L606, Portland, OR 97239–3098 (

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.