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Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 109, Issue 4, pp 459–463 | Cite as

Work-related musculoskeletal risk among refugees: recommendations for improvement to promote health and well-being

  • Sonja Senthanar
Special Section on Epidemiology and Biostatistics: Commentary
  • 28 Downloads

Abstract

Refugees fall under the umbrella term of immigrants. Whereas immigrants chose to leave their host country for positive reasons, refugees are pushed out due to war and fear of persecution. The work they pursue does not align with their education and experience and oftentimes leaves them vulnerable to increased health and safety hazards causing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Current publicly available resources and guidelines ignore their unique psychosocial profiles and homogenize refugees with all other workers. The resultant consequences are not only of concern to refugees but to healthcare providers, employers, and insurance companies as well as policymakers alike. A focus on the complex ways in which MSDs interact with refugee resettlement should be reflected in future MSD prevention guidelines to promote refugee health and well-being and advance Canada’s mandate to provide a safe, secure, and humane refugee program.

Keywords

Refugees Musculoskeletal Workplace Health planning guidelines 

Résumé

Le réfugié est décrit par le terme général d’immigrant. Alors que l’immigrant a choisi de quitter son pays d’origine pour des raisons positives, le réfugié en a été expulsé à cause de la guerre et de la crainte d’une persécution. Le travail qu’il cherche ne correspond pas à son éducation et son expérience et le laisse souvent plus susceptible aux risques pour la santé et la sécurité, ce qui cause des troubles musculosquelettiques (TMS). Les ressources et lignes directrices publiques actuelles ignorent leur profil psychologique unique et assimilent les réfugiés aux autres travailleurs. Les conséquences qui en résultent sont préoccupantes non seulement pour les réfugiés, mais pour les fournisseurs de soins de santé, pour les employeurs, les assureurs, ainsi que pour les décideurs politiques. Les lignes directrices futures sur la prévention des TMS doivent tenir compte des façons complexes dont ces TMS interagissent avec la réinstallation d’un réfugié afin d’améliorer sa santé et son bien-être et de faire progresser le mandat du Canada en vue d’offrir aux réfugiés un programme humain et dans des conditions de sécurité physique et matérielle.

Mots-clés

Réfugiés Musculosquelettique Milieu de travail Lignes directrices sur la planification en matière de santé 

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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Public Health and Health SystemsUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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