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.

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