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December 17, 2003

Occupational Safety of Home Health Workers

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Stephen J. Lurie, MD, PhD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2003;290(23):3069-3070. doi:10.1001/jama.290.23.3069-a

To the Editor: In their Contempo Updates article about home care, Dr Levine and colleagues1 did not discuss the safety of home health care workers. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the number of home health care workers will increase by 60% during this decade, making it one of the fastest-growing US employment sectors.2 The BLS reported an injury rate in home health workers of 474 lost-work day cases per 10 000 workers, which is 50% higher than the injury rate among hospital workers and 70% higher than the general work force.3 The increasing number of workers at risk and the personal, social, and economic consequences of workplace injury make it critical to consider labor and health and safety issues connected with the growth in home health care.