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Qual Health Res. 2014 Sep;24(9):1183-97. doi: 10.1177/1049732314545887. Epub 2014 Aug 5.

After the storm: the social relations of return to work following electrical injury.

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Toronto Rehabilitation Institute, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


In this study, we explored the experiences of 13 individuals who had suffered an electrical injury at work and had subsequently returned to work. In this article, we report on the social, institutional, and relational elements that workers perceived to influence return to work experiences and the provision of workplace accommodations. These elements included (a) worker resources, (b) job characteristics, (c) workplace setting, (d) injury elements, (e) workers' compensation context, and (f) supports and advocacy provided. We conclude that the availability and provision of supportive accommodations are influenced by a multiplicity of interrelated factors including the legitimacy of resulting impairments following electrical injury, institutional structures (e.g., compensation and health care systems), the social relations of work, and broader labor market and economic contexts. Those workers who were vulnerable because of factors such as employment circumstances or labor market conditions were often poorly supported when returning to work following electrical injury.


burn injury, burns; disability / disabled persons; health and well-being; illness and disease, experiences; interviews, semistructured; occupational health; qualitative analysis; rehabilitation; vulnerable populations; workplace

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