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Hospitalized non-fatal work-related injuries in Alaska.

Huseberg-B; Conway-G
Injury Prevention and Control, 6th World Conference, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, May 12-15, 2002. Montréal: Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 2002 May; :344-346
From 1980 through 1989 Alaska experienced the highest worker fatality rate (34.8/100,000) of any state in the USA, and five times greater than the national work-related fatality rate. In 1990 a comprehensive surveillance program was set-up in Alaska to track work-related fatalities and identify risk factors for injury prevention; in 1991 nonfatal injury surveillance was added. 1991-1999 ATR data include 39,143 injuries; 10% (3,951) were classified as work-related. Industries with highest number of injuries include construction (740), commercial fishing (648), transportation (388), logging (319), and military (315). By injury rate, there is a different rank order: logging was highest (23/1,000), followed by construction (7/1,000), mining (6/1,000), fishing (4/1,000), and transportation (3/1,000). In construction, 49% of the injuries were caused by falls, most from a building or structure (126), ladder (85), and scaffolding (63). Machinery caused 32% of commercial fishing injuries, many involving I crab pot launchers or a crane used to position crab pots on deck. In logging, 41 % of injuries were caused by being struck by an object, primarily trees or limbs during felling operations. The leading Alaskan industries with the highest number and rates of injury have been identified, to develop risk factor understanding and to prioritize research needs and target injury prevention measures. This study shows that Alaska does have injury rates of concern for hospitalized work-related injuries, especially m the logging, construction, mining, and commercial fishing industries: In the construction industry ATR data has been used in prioritizing needs in Alaskan organizations involved in safety training. Recent collaboration between NIOSH and construction companies and organizations has concentrated on specific training for fall prevention awareness for falls from buildings, scaffolding, and ladders. ATR data has been valuable in forming and focusing the Advanced Construction Safety sessions at the annual Alaska Governor's Safety and Health Conference on fall protection, and zero tolerance fall programs. In the commercial fishing industry, machinery led to the majority of nonfatal injuries that is quite different from fatal injuries in this industry, where most are due to man overboard or vessel loss at sea. In the logging industry, collaboration is underway between NIOSH educational institutions and local safety professionals to further assess injury prevention needs and increase safety awareness. Recently an Occupational Research Agenda for Northwest Forestlands has been developed by the University of Washington with input from NIOSH and the ATR. This agenda identifies training and research priorities for interventions and their evaluation.
Accident-prevention; Accident-statistics; Accident-rates; Worker-health; Logging-workers; Construction-workers; Mine-workers; Fishing-industry
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Injury Prevention and Control, 6th World Conference, Montréal, Quebec, Canada, May 12-15, 2002