Date of Award

10-22-2012

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Mary Jane Kuffner Hirt, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

David Chambers, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Diana Rupert, Ph.D.

Abstract

As the nation's population ages at an unprecedented rate, so too does the American workforce. This has sparked significant interest in relation to the impact that the aging workforce will have on American businesses. The high cost of workers' compensation claims in a competitive market has caused employers to seek greater control over costs associated with workplace injuries. This scenario is all too familiar to long-term care facilities that currently struggle with injury rates double the rate of non-healthcare private industry settings. In addition, nursing assistants, who comprise the majority of the workforce in these facilities, consistently rank high among occupational groups with the highest rate of workplace injuries. This study examined the relationship among age, injury, and length of service among nursing assistants employed in a long-term care setting. It employed a quantitative methodology utilizing secondary data sources. Various bivariate, multivariate regression, and correlation analyses were used to determine if age is a factor to injury in terms of occurrence and severity and if a correlation exists between length of service and injury. The findings of this study revealed that age is not a factor in relation to risk or severity of workplace injuries in this sample. However, length of service significantly impacts the occurrence and number of workplace injuries experienced. The results of this study emphasize the need for long-term care organizations to focus on and devote resources to on-going safety education and training to tenured nursing assistants in an effort to enhance injury prevention and thereby decrease organizational costs related to workplace injuries.

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