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Gender Differences in the Relationship Between Shiftwork and Work Injury: Examining the Influence of Dependent Children

Smith, Peter M. PhD; Ibrahim-Dost, Jihan; Keegel, Tessa PhD; MacFarlane, Ewan PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: August 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 8 - p 932–936
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31829178e1
Original Articles

Objective: To examine the relationship between shiftwork and work injury among men and women, taking into account the presence of dependent children.

Methods: An analysis of respondents to the 2009–2010 Multipurpose Household Survey (n = 6927 women and 7340 men). Logistic regression models examined the work injury risk, adjusting for various covariates.

Results: The risk of work injury associated with shiftwork was higher for women than for men. Nevertheless, gender differences were present only among respondents with dependent children. Shiftworking women with children also had a greater risk of work injury than shiftworking women without children.

Conclusions: This previously noted elevated risk of injury associated with shiftwork among women compared with that in men may be a product of increased household responsibilities or other factors particular to female shiftworkers with dependent children.

From the School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine (Drs Smith, Keegel, and MacFarlane and Mr Ibrahim-Dost), Monash University, and McCaughey Centre (Dr Keegel), Melbourne School of Public Health, University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; and Institute for Work & Health (Dr Smith) and the Dalla Lana School of Public Health (Dr Smith), University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Address correspondence to: Peter M. Smith, PhD, School of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (

Peter Smith was supported by a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council. Tessa Keegel was supported by a National Health and Medical Research Council Early Career Fellowship. Access to the Expanded files of the Multipurpose Household Surveys was made available through the Australian Bureau of Statistics Remote Access Data Laboratory.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to declare.

Copyright © 2013 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine