Original article

Scand J Work Environ Health 2005;31(5):336-342    pdf

doi:10.5271/sjweh.916

Stressful life events and occupational accidents

by Cordeiro R, Dias A

Objective The purpose of this study was to examine the association between stressful life events and occupational accidents.

Methods This was a population-based case–control study, carried out in the city of Botucatu, in southeast Brazil. The cases consisted of 108 workers who had recently experienced occupational accidents. Each case was matched with three controls. The cases and controls answered a questionnaire about recent exposure to stressful life events.

Results Reporting of “environmental problems”, “being a victim of assault”, “not having enough food at home” and “nonoccupational fatigue” were found to be risk factors for work-related accidents with estimated incidence rate ratios of 1.4 [95% confidence interval (95% CI) 1.1–1.7], 1.3 (95% CI 1.1–1.7), 1.3 (95% CI 1.1–1.6), and 1.4 (95% CI 1.2–1.7) respectively.

Conclusions The findings of the study suggested that nonwork variables contribute to occupational accidents, thus broadening the understanding of these phenomena, which can support new approaches to the prevention of occupational accidents.