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Hazard identification in occupational injury: reflections on standard epidemiologic methods.

Authors
Park-RM
Source
Int J Occup Environ Health 2002 Oct-Dec; 8(4):354-362
NIOSHTIC No.
20022226
Abstract
To prevent workplace injuries, epidemiologic research must continue to progress beyond methods originally used for acute or chronic diseases. For injury research, exposure assessment requires increased sophistication because exposures comprise multiple, transient factors and complex work activities. Frequently reported risk factors such as age, gender, seniority, or prior injury are often confounders or effect-modifiers of unknown exposures. Injury rate calculations across nominal categories, e.g., department or job classification, identify where hazards are concentrated but provide little insight into their nature; injury counts often perform almost as well. Calculation of rates in relation to time actually spent in plausible etiologic exposure conditions usually is not feasible. Generalization of the Haddon approach for individual injury events to systematically analyze injury case series can identify both the mechanism of injury and the relative occurrences of high-risk conditions. In some contexts, case-crossover designs may elucidate injury causation. National datbases and information systems of employers, insurers, and equipment suppliers could contribute case series for injury hazard identification. By enhancing exposure assessment through a focus on case series, epidemiologic research can expand its contribution to preventing workplace injuries.
Keywords
Coal-miners; Risk-factors; Electrical-workers; Steelworkers; Construction-workers; Exposure-limits; Injuries; Injury-prevention; Accident-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Materials-handling-equipment
Contact
Euducation and Information Division, Risk Evaluation Branch, NIOSH, C-15, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45226
CODEN
IOEHFU
Publication Date
20021001
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
rhp9@cdc.gov
Fiscal Year
2003
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Issue of Publication
4
ISSN
1077-3525
NIOSH Division
EID
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Risk Assessment Methods
Source Name
International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
State
OH; WV
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