A Hard Day at Work: An Analysis of Occupational Genitourinary Injuries in the United States Workforce.

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OBJECTIVE: To use national data to identify risk factors for occupational genitourinary (GU) injuries and to expose potential workplace safety issues requiring national regulation.

METHODS: The National Trauma Data Bank was queried to identify all adults who suffered a work-related GU injury from 2007-2016. Injury was stratified by individual organ and by organ type: intra-abdominopelvic (IAP) versus external genitalia (EG). Distinct multivariable logistic regression models were used to examine associations between prespecified risk factors and GU injury (organ and type) and to identify predictors of intensive care unit (ICU) and operating room (OR) transfer.

RESULTS: 2139 patients (total of 2681 GU injuries), were included. A mean of 1.3 GU organ injuries and 7.6 total injuries were suffered per patient. 72% suffered an IAP GU injury, 23% an EG injury, and 5% suffered both. Patients working in agriculture/forestry/fishing, (OR 2.3, p=0.003), manufacturing (OR 1.9, p=0.05), and natural resources/mining (OR 2.3, p= 0.012) were at significantly increased risk of EG injury. The penis and urethra were particularly at-risk in agriculture/forestry/fishing (OR 4.0, p=0.005; OR 3.0, p=0.002) and the urethra in natural resources/mining (OR 3.4, p=0.004). IAP GU injury was a significant predictor of ICU transfer (OR 1.8, p < 0.001), whereas EG injury was a significant predictor of OR transfer (OR 2.5, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: Occupational GU injuries remain a major issue for blue-collar workers. External genitalia are particularly at-risk, and injuries often require emergent surgery. National occupational health agencies need to continue to enhance on-the-job safety for those at-risk.




Medicine and Health Sciences




Department of Medicine

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