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Work-related injuries in Athens County 1982 to 1986. A comparison of emergency department and workers' compensation data.

Fingar-AR; Hopkins-RS; Nelson-M
J Occup Med 1992 Aug; 34(8):779-787
A study of work related injuries in Athens County, Ohio, based on hospital emergency department and workers compensation data was conducted. Data in the National Electronic Surveillance System (NEISS) and Bureau of Workers Compensation (BWC) for Athens County were searched to identify all work related injuries occurring from 1982 to 1986. A total of 1571 occupational injuries were identified in the BWC records during the study period. A total of 2967 occupational injuries and 8494 nonoccupational injuries were recorded in the NEISS database. Among all records, 387 matches were found between the injuries recorded in the BWC files and the injuries recorded in the NEISS database. Of these, 35 matches were with NEISS cases marked as being nonoccupational. A validation study performed at one of the Athens County hospitals indicated that only 71.2% of the occupational injuries had been recorded in the NEISS system. In both data sets, approximately 80% of the injured workers were males. When analyzed by accident type, the BWC records had a higher proportion of overexertion injuries and injuries caused by falls on the same level and bodily reactions than the NEISS database. The NEISS data set had a higher percentage of accidents caused by being struck by an object or thrown against an object. The NEISS database contained a higher proportion of injuries to the hands, fingers, face and mouth, and eyes and the BWC files contained a higher proportion of injuries to the lower trunk, unspecified back, and vertebrae. When the two databases were combined and compared with national injury rates derived from Bureau of Labor Statistics incidence rates and employment information for Athens County and the State of Ohio, the national rates substantially underestimated the number of occupational accidents in the county, 582 and 868 versus 1235. The authors conclude that neither the NEISS nor BWC database provide a complete description of occupational injuries in Athens County. When combined, the two data sets may provide a more complete picture, but they also indicate a larger number of injuries than predicted by national rates.
JOCMA7; NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Traumatic-injuries; Occupational-accidents; Accident-statistics; Information-systems; Industrial-safety; Epidemiology; Accident-rates
Preventive Medicine Starling-Loving B-110 320 W. 10Th Avenue Columbus, OH 43210
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Journal of Occupational Medicine
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Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio