Introduction: Soldiers are at a higher risk of injury than people of other occupations. To date, no studies have examined the association between injury and personal protective equipment (PPE) use in the Republic of Korea (ROK) military. Thus, this study aimed to investigate possible associations between injury and PPE use in military personnel. In addition, we aimed to identify the possible interactions between injury and PPE use according to military personnel characteristics. Materials and Methods: We used secondary data from the 2014–2015 Military Health Survey. To compare the average number of injuries according to the independent variables, we performed a t-test and analyses of variance. Additionally, statistical methods were used to compare injury incidence among PPE users and non-PPE users, while controlling for variables including age, sex, education level, military service, and health-related characteristics were controlled. Additionally, subgroup analysis was performed for occupational variables. Results: Among the 9,407 military personnel included in our study, 1,091 (11.6%) individuals had been injured in the past 12 months. For the 9,407 personnel, the average number of injuries was 0.17 ± 0.64; among the participants with injuries, the average number of injuries was 1.49 ± 1.25. Regression analysis revealed that personnel who did not routinely wear PPE were significantly associated with the number of injuries (relative risk [RR] = 1.13, p = 0.0138). A higher number of injuries occurred among individuals who were not wearing PPE, with a high possibility of an injury occurring because of their job characteristics (RR = 1.34, p ≤ 0.0001); however, participants in units with a high level of injury prevention efforts had a significantly lower number of injuries than those in units with moderate/ low injury-prevention efforts (RR = 0.91, p = 0.0269). In addition, the practice of PPE use had a greater impact on officers than on personnel of other ranks (RR = 4.22, p ≤ 0.0001). Conclusion: The practice of PPE use is significantly and negatively associated with the number of injuries in soldiers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health