Deadly occupations: Assessing tuberculosis and accidental mortality among male workers in Sydney and Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, 1909–1917


  • Natalie C. Ludlow
  • Stacie D.A. Burke



This study examines associations between occupation and cause of death among 802 working-age males (15 to 64 years of age) who diedin two single-industry communities (Glace Bay and Sydney) in Nova Scotia between 1909 and 1917. Employment in mining and steelmanufacturing is assessed for cause-specific mortality among men who died in Canada’s early industrial era, with a particular focus ondeaths due to tuberculosis (n=140, or 18% of deaths) and accidents (n=225, or 28% of deaths). Factoring in the effects of occupation,age at death, birthplace, community, and marital status, logistic regression results indicate that, among the men who died, occupation is a significant predictor for accidental deaths (relative to all other causes of death) but not for tuberculosis-related deaths. Interpretation of these results is grounded in a broader perspective on the nature of living and working conditions in these two single-industry communities.