Epidemiologic principles applied to injury prevention.
Scand J Work, Environ & Health 1981 Dec; 7(Suppl 4):91-96
Injuries resulting from falls from ladders were analyzed to assess the applications of epidemiologic principles to injury prevention. The studied group consisted of 1,419 workers injured in ladder related accidents who responded to a 1978 Work Injury Report Survey questionnaire. Questions were included on the design, composition, and condition of the ladder; the task being attempted; the condition of the worker's shoes; and the amount and kind of training. Workers injured while working from the ladder were designated as referents and those injured while climbing the ladder were designated as cases; a case comparison analysis of other factors was then carried out using the Statistical Analysis System. The differences between the case and comparison groups were design and task related, while other factors were not directly comparable. The author concludes that falls from ladders are a diverse set of events which can be studied as a statistical aggregate with proper care; since differences in variables could be candidates for preventive action, there is a need for more carefully controlled studies of industrial accidents and injuries. The author suggests the following guidelines for case/referent studies: attention to sequences of events; consistency in defining cases and referents; and definition of what constitutes a case to minimize design factors and reveal unplanned features.
NIOSH-Author; Accident-analysis; Accident-prevention; Job-analysis; Analytical-methods; Industrial-safety; Occupational-accidents; Epidemiology; Risk-factors;
Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health