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Older workers: a comparison of work-related fatal injuries in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.S.

Marsh-SM; Horsburgh-S; Usher-H
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :80
A recent study comparing work-related fatality data from Australia, New Zealand and the US indicated that workers over 55 years of age in all three countries had higher fatality rates than workers 16-54. The objective of the current study is to compare data from these three countries in more detail for workers 55 and older to identify the specific agents leading to the high fatality rates. For this study, data from the US (the National Traumatic Occupational Fatalities surveillance system) and Australia (Coroners' records) were included for 1989-1992. Because of the small number of cases, data for a longer time frame (1985-1994) was included for New Zealand (Coroners' records). Cases were included if they involved a decedent who was fatally injured while at work, where death resulted from an unintentional cause or homicide. Work-related injuries on the road involving traffic or work-related injuries to bystanders were excluded. To permit for more comparable groupings, occupation and industry classifications were substantially customized. To allow for rate comparisons, equivalent modifications were applied to both numerator and denominator data. While specific results for this comparison have not been organized, the initial comparison indicated that as age increased, the rate per 100,000 workers increased for all three countries. In general, when comparing rates by age for workers 55 and older, rates per 100,000 workers were highest in Australia and lowest in the US. More detailed comparisons for workers 55 and older will be provided by industry, occupation, cause of death, and specific mechanism of death. Similarities and differences from these comparisons will be highlighted. Examining similarities in the circumstances of fatal injuries may help identify hazards common to all three countries, while differences in the circumstances of fatal injuries may allow for the identification of possible directions for prevention.
Accident-rates; Accident-statistics; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Injury-prevention; Surveillance-programs; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Age-factors; Age-groups; Mortality-data; Mortality-rates; Mortality-surveys
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NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000