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May 6, 1998

Risk of Injury Among Workers With Disability

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(17):1348-1350. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-17-jbk0506

To the Editor.—Since its enactment, the ADA has been the subject of debate among academics, employers, and policymakers. Critics question whether the ADA's benefits outweigh its administrative burdens. One area in which the dialogue about the ADA should not be muddied is in relation to the study by Dr Zwerling and colleagues1 regarding occupational injury rates among workers with preexisting impairments. Consistent with the ADA, Zwerling et al conclude that qualified workers should not be excluded from the workplace solely on the basis of risk factors associated with their impairments. However, overgeneralizations of the findings of Zwerling et al will surface from critics who suggest that the ADA requires employers to hire workers who pose a risk in the workplace, even in the face of the "evidence" presented by Zwerling et al that such risk exists.

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