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Trends in mortality from occupational hazards among men in England and Wales during 1979-2010

Trends in mortality from occupational hazards among men in England and Wales during 1979-2010
Trends in mortality from occupational hazards among men in England and Wales during 1979-2010
Objectives: To monitor the impact of health and safety provisions and inform future preventive strategies, we investigated trends in mortality from established occupational hazards in England and Wales.

Methods: We analysed data from death certificates on underlying cause of death and last full-time occupation for 3?688?916 deaths among men aged 20–74?years in England and Wales during 1979–2010 (excluding 1981 when records were incomplete). Proportional mortality ratios (PMRs), standardised for age and social class, were calculated for occupations at risk of specified hazards. Observed and expected numbers of deaths for each hazard were summed across occupations, and the differences summarised as average annual excesses.

Results: Excess mortality declined substantially for most hazards. For example, the annual excess of deaths from chronic bronchitis and emphysema fell from 170.7 during 1979–1990 to 36.0 in 2001–2010, and that for deaths from injury and poisoning from 237.0 to 87.5. In many cases, the improvements were associated with falling PMRs (suggesting safer working practices), but they also reflected reductions in the numbers of men employed in more hazardous jobs, and declining mortality from some diseases across the whole population. Notable exceptions to the general improvement were diseases caused by asbestos, especially in some construction trades and sinonasal cancer in woodworkers.

Conclusions: The highest priority for future prevention of work-related fatalities is the minority of occupational disorders for which excess mortality remains static or is increasing, in particular asbestos-related disease among certain occupations in the construction industry and sinonasal cancer in woodworkers.
1351-0711
1-10
Harris, E.C.
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Palmer, K.T.
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Cox, V.
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Darnton, A.
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Osman, J.
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Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3
Harris, E.C.
3e4bd946-3f09-45a1-8725-d35e80dd7971
Palmer, K.T.
0cfe63f0-1d33-40ff-ae8c-6c33601df850
Cox, V.
0edb4291-8b30-4914-9918-841268605d21
Darnton, A.
3940a540-698a-4b6c-916a-67d9065d1925
Osman, J.
725be302-1ace-4ecb-9988-9a6980da5a54
Coggon, D.
2b43ce0a-cc61-4d86-b15d-794208ffa5d3

Harris, E.C., Palmer, K.T., Cox, V., Darnton, A., Osman, J. and Coggon, D. (2016) Trends in mortality from occupational hazards among men in England and Wales during 1979-2010. Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 73 (6), 1-10. (doi:10.1136/oemed-2015-103336). (PMID:26976946)

Record type: Article

Abstract

Objectives: To monitor the impact of health and safety provisions and inform future preventive strategies, we investigated trends in mortality from established occupational hazards in England and Wales.

Methods: We analysed data from death certificates on underlying cause of death and last full-time occupation for 3?688?916 deaths among men aged 20–74?years in England and Wales during 1979–2010 (excluding 1981 when records were incomplete). Proportional mortality ratios (PMRs), standardised for age and social class, were calculated for occupations at risk of specified hazards. Observed and expected numbers of deaths for each hazard were summed across occupations, and the differences summarised as average annual excesses.

Results: Excess mortality declined substantially for most hazards. For example, the annual excess of deaths from chronic bronchitis and emphysema fell from 170.7 during 1979–1990 to 36.0 in 2001–2010, and that for deaths from injury and poisoning from 237.0 to 87.5. In many cases, the improvements were associated with falling PMRs (suggesting safer working practices), but they also reflected reductions in the numbers of men employed in more hazardous jobs, and declining mortality from some diseases across the whole population. Notable exceptions to the general improvement were diseases caused by asbestos, especially in some construction trades and sinonasal cancer in woodworkers.

Conclusions: The highest priority for future prevention of work-related fatalities is the minority of occupational disorders for which excess mortality remains static or is increasing, in particular asbestos-related disease among certain occupations in the construction industry and sinonasal cancer in woodworkers.

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Accepted/In Press date: 2 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 March 2016
Published date: June 2016
Organisations: Faculty of Medicine

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 390033
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/390033
ISSN: 1351-0711
PURE UUID: d9c607a2-1974-48e5-b7b2-518f73ae586f
ORCID for E.C. Harris: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-8037-566X
ORCID for D. Coggon: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-1930-3987

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Date deposited: 17 Mar 2016 14:18
Last modified: 18 Feb 2021 16:47

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Contributors

Author: E.C. Harris ORCID iD
Author: K.T. Palmer
Author: V. Cox
Author: A. Darnton
Author: J. Osman
Author: D. Coggon ORCID iD

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