Aim: The purpose of this study was to investigate risk factors for occupational accidents and the relationship between perceived and actual risk of occupational accidents in Greek soldiers.
Method: A case-control study was conducted of military personnel in Evros county in Greece. Cases (n=250) were defined as enlisted personnel having had an accident at work and the control series (n=300) comprised of a simple random sample, stratified by age from the army population.
Results: Conscripted soldiers (OR=3.8, 2.21 to 6.58, p<0.001) and professional soldiers (OR=2.2, 1.28-3.75, p=0.004) had higher frequency of occurrence of accidents in comparison to army officers. The degree of risk perception due to electrical hazards (OR=2.8, 1.81-4.18, p<0.001), lighting (OR=2.6, 1.74-3.97, p<0.001), falls (OR=2.9, 1.61-5.13, p<0.001) and inadequate safety signs (OR=3.3, 1.99-5.49, p<0.001) were associated with increased occurrence of accident. Regression analysis demonstrated a significant relationship between the accident and the age, time of service in the present unit, specialty, level of education, years of service and the overall military training.
Conclusion: This study highlights the increased likelihood of occupational accidents among military personnel with lower rank and lower level of education, less working experience (fewer years of service) and less military training (conscripted and professional soldiers). The existence of occupational accidents in the workplace, civilian or military, creates the need for the adoption of policies for the protection of workers and the organization of occupational preventive services.
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