Employment status and the frequency and causes of burn injuries in New England

J Occup Med. 1989 Sep;31(9):751-7. doi: 10.1097/00043764-198909000-00013.


We analyzed a subset of data from the New England Regional Burn Program (NERBP) to assess the effects of employment status on the rates and causes of burn injuries in New England. The subset of the NERBP data analyzed pertained to residents of the six New England states who were hospitalized for the treatment of a burn injury sustained between July 1, 1978 and June 30, 1979 and who were aged 20 years or older at the time of the injury. Analysis of the data identified that men, particularly black men and young men, experienced higher burn rates than did their female, white, and older counterparts among both employed and unemployed persons. High burn rates were observed in Maine; low rates were observed in Rhode Island. Scalds were the most common type of burn among work-related burns to women and to men aged 20 to 54 years, and flame or flash burns were the most common otherwise. The majority of work-related burn injuries were caused by activities related to food preparation or consumption, motor vehicle repair and maintenance, and use of flammable liquids. Persons employed as operatives and laborers, or persons employed in the service occupations, appeared to have the highest risk of sustaining a burn injury while at work.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Black or African American
  • Burns / epidemiology*
  • Burns / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New England / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Unemployment