Double jeopardy: workplace hazards and behavioral risks for craftspersons and laborers

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine

Publication Date


Document Type



Adult; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; *Health Behavior; Health Promotion; Health Services Needs and Demand; Health Surveys; Humans; *Industry; Male; Massachusetts; Middle Aged; *Occupational Health; Occupational Health Services; Questionnaires; Risk Assessment


Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences | Women's Studies


PURPOSE: To address three specific questions in a sample of craftspersons and laborers: (1) Do craftspersons and laborers exposed to workplace hazards have higher behavioral risks, such as smoking and high-fat diets, than those with few job risks? (2) Compared to workers with few job risks, do workers exposed to risks on the job have higher intentions to reduce their behavioral risks? (3) Does concern about the level of exposure to risks on the job increase workers' intentions to reduce behavioral risks?

DESIGN: A cross-sectional self-administered survey was conducted in participating worksites.

SETTING: Twenty-two predominantly manufacturing worksites in Massachusetts.

SUBJECTS: Craftspersons and laborers responding to the survey and employed in these 22 worksites (completion rate = 61%, N = 1841).

MEASURES: By using standardized items, this survey measured self-reported exposure to workplace hazards, concern about job exposures, smoking status, fat and fiber intake, readiness to quit smoking, plans to reduce fat intake, plans to eat more fruits and vegetables, and sociodemographic variables.

RESULTS: Workers reporting exposure to chemical hazards on the job were significantly more likely to be smokers than were unexposed workers, even when results were controlled for gender. Compared with unexposed workers, smokers exposed to chemical hazards were significantly more likely to be thinking of quitting or taking action to quit, when results were controlled for gender, race, and education. Among workers exposed to occupational chemical hazards, concern about this exposure was significantly associated with intentions to decrease fat intake and increase fruit and vegetable intake, and, among men, intentions to quit smoking.

CONCLUSIONS: Efforts aimed at integrating health promotion and health protection are needed to address simultaneously the job risks and personal risks these workers face.


Am J Health Promot. 1996 May-Jun;10(5):355-63.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

American journal of health promotion : AJHP

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID