Safety of union home care aides in Washington State.
INTRODUCTION: A rate-based understanding of home care aides' adverse occupational outcomes related to their work location and care tasks is lacking. METHODS: Within a 30-month, dynamic cohort of 43 394 home care aides in Washington State, injury rates were calculated by aides' demographic and work characteristics. Injury narratives and focus groups provided contextual detail. RESULTS: Injury rates were higher for home care aides categorized as female, white, 50 to <65 years old, less experienced, with a primary language of English, and working through an agency (versus individual providers). In addition to direct occupational hazards, variability in workload, income, and supervisory/social support is of concern. CONCLUSIONS: Policies should address the roles and training of home care aides, consumers, and managers/supervisors. Home care aides' improved access to often-existing resources to identify, manage, and eliminate occupational hazards is called for to prevent injuries and address concerns related to the vulnerability of this needed workforce.
Schoenfisch, AL; Lipscomb, H; Phillips, LE
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