Background: Minnesota has an ethnically diverse labor force, with the largest number of refugees per capita in the United States. In recent years, Minnesota has been and continues to be a major site for immigrant and refugee resettlement in the United States, with a large population of both immigrant and native born Hmong, Hispanic, and East Africans. This study seeks to evaluate the injury risk among the evolving minority workforce in the Minnesota Twin Cities region. Methods: A retrospective cohort study identifying work-related injuries following pre-employment examinations was performed using electronic health records from a large multi-clinic occupational medicine practice. Preplacement examinations and subsequent work-related injuries were pulled from the electronic health record using representative ICD-10 codes for surveillance examinations and injuries. This study included patient records collected over a 2-year period from January 1, 2015, through December, 2016. The patients in this cohort worked in a wide-array of occupations including production, assembly, construction, law enforcement, among others. Results: Hispanic minority workers were twice as likely to be injured at work compared with White workers. Hispanics were 2.89 times more likely to develop back injuries compared with non-Hispanic workers, and 1.86 times more likely to develop upper extremity injuries involving the hand, wrist, or elbow. Conclusion: Clinical practice data shows that Hispanic workers are at increased risk for work-related injuries in Minnesota. They were especially susceptible to back and upper extremity injuries. Lower injury rates in non-Hispanic minority workers, may be the result of injury underreporting and require further investigation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by an internal research grant through HealthPartners (RED Grant). This work was also supported by a NIOSH T42 training grant (5T42OH00843413) in partnership with University of Minnesota. This study was conceived and designed collectively by SR, KL, AM, WW, JS, PA, EB, RB, KK, AN, HK, ZM, and FA. The data were acquired by SR and ZM. The analysis and interpretation of the data were carried out by SR, KL, HK, ZM. The draft manuscript was prepared by SR. The final manuscript was critically edited by SR, KL, AM, WW, JS, PA, EB, RB, KK, AN, HK, ZM, and FA. The final manuscript was approved by SR, KL, AM, WW, JS, PA, EB, RB, KK, AN, HK, ZM, and FA. All authors SR, KL, AM, WW, JS, PA, EB, RB, KK, AN, HK, ZM, and FA, agree to be accountable for all aspects of the work and for ensuring that questions related to accuracy or integrity of the work are appropriately investigated and resolved. We would like to acknowledge our colleagues at Health Partners Institute including Dr Nico Pronk for their support and informative feedback regarding our studies. This work was supported by an internal research grant through HealthPartners (RED Grant). This work was also supported by a NIOSH T42 training grant (5T42OH00843413) in partnership with University of Minnesota. This work was performed at HealthPartners. This study was approved by the HealthPartners Institutional Review Board (IRB# A17-391). This study was considered minimal risk and was carried out with a waiver for informed consent. The authors report no conflicts of interest. Rodney Ehrlich declares that he has no competing or conflicts of interest in the review and publication decision regarding this article.