More than 14 million U.S. residents now have multiple jobs. They’re also more likely to face work-related injury compared to individuals who only have one employer, a wide-ranging new study has determined.
The Liberty Mutual Research Institute For Safety’s Center for Injury Epidemiology conducted the study, based on an evaluation of 15 years of data from the National Health Interview Survey—an annual household survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau on a variety of health topics. Details of the center’s findings are published in the American Journal of Public Health.
Principal researcher Helen Marucci-Wellman told Carrier Management via email that the findings could have far-reaching implications for workers compensation, disability, and other lines of property/casualty insurance coverage.
“Over the past 50 years, technological advances, economic shifts, and increased globalization have changed the nature of work in the U.S. Single-job, single-employer careers are less common than in prior decades and opportunities for multiple job holding are more prevalent,” Marucci-Wellman said. “The increased risk both on and off work may have implications for lines such as general liability, auto, workers compensation, and disability.”
The study determined that individuals who have more than one job face a 27 percent greater rate of work-related injury compared to folks who hold just one job. As well, they experience a 34 percent higher rate of non-work-related injury.
A subsequent Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety study, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s annual Time Use Survey, found related data that raises concern. It compared activities during one week both at, and outside, of work between individuals who hold one job and those that have several.
What the study found: 27 percent of individuals who hold more than one job work 60 or more hours per week. For folks who hold just one job, that drops to 6 percent. As well, individuals who held many jobs worked 2.25 to 2.75 additional hours per day, according to the study. They also worked unconventional hours and faced longer commutes. Connecting to safety concerns, folks with multiple jobs also slept between 45 minutes and one hour less per day than their counterparts who held just a single job.
Marucci-Wellman said that researchers need to look at a number of risk factors to better understand the association between holding multiple jobs and the risk of injury. The data will eventually help, she said, in making changes to boost safety for workers at increased risk.
Liberty Mutual Insurance, the major workers compensation insurer, owns and operates the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety.
Source: Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety