graphical header showing various types of workers

The Boston Hospital Workers Health Study: Determining how workplace exposures, structures, and policies in hospitals contribute to worker health and disparities

The goal of this study is to improve the health of the entire hospital workforce and reduce within-workforce disparities by identifying the roots of those disparities in the conditions of work. As healthcare is the largest and fastest-growing sector of the American economy, our findings could help improve health and reduce disparities in a large proportion of the working population.

Project Lead: Erika L. Sabbath, ScD

The Boston Hospital Workers Health Study is a collaboration between our Center and the two flagship hospitals of Mass General Brigham, the largest private employer in Massachusetts. Using Mass General Brigham’s extensive longitudinal database of employee records, our research seeks to identify the ways that workplace exposures and policies impact worker health, especially for low-wage workers.

Our study, which includes almost all 40,000 workers at the two hospitals, will test the extent to which:

  • specific policies, working conditions, and exposures act as social determinants of health within the hospital work environment; and
  • policies aimed at improving working conditions have the potential to narrow or widen occupational, racial, and wage gaps in health within the hospital workforce.

The expected impact of this work is to broaden the scope of occupational health research and practice in hospitals by demonstrating the necessity of analyzing the contribution of working conditions and policies to disparities in health and well-being in the hospital workforce.

Project Timeline: September 1, 2021 – August 31, 2026