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Work-related eye injuries among union carpenters.

Authors
Lipscomb-HJ; Dement-JM; McDougall-V; Kalat-J
Source
Appl Occup Environ Hyg 1999 Oct; 14(10):665-676
NIOSHTIC No.
20024671
Abstract
Union administrative records were combined with workers' compensation data to identify a cohort of 12,958 active union carpenters, their person-time at risk, and their documented work-related eye injuries between 1989 and 1995 in the state of Washington. The injuries were described using ANSI codes for injury nature, type (mechanism), and source or object associated with the event. Injuries which resulted in paid lost time from work were also described based on the ICD-9 codes attached to claims for their medical treatment. Overall rates of filing compensation claims for eye injuries as well as age, gender, and union local specific rates were calculated. To identify high risk subgroups and explore incident and recurrent events, the person-time and events were stratified by age, gender, time in the union, claim status, and predominant type of work of the union local with which each carpenter was affiliated for multivariate analyses with Poisson regression. Eye injuries were responsible for 12 percent (n = 1730) of workers' compensation claims during this time period, exceeded only by back and finger injuries. Thirty-one claims resulted in paid lost time from work and these cases accounted for one-third of all costs for medical care for eye injuries. At least 10 percent of all medical costs for eye injuries and 35.5 percent of medical costs for eye injuries which resulted in paid lost time were associated with injuries sustained while hammering--a very common carpenter exposure. Claims were filed at an estimated rate of 6.1 per 200,000 hours worked. Individuals with previous compensation claims for eye injuries had rates of injury 1.6 times higher than individuals without previous eye injuries. Rates decreased significantly with age and time in the union. Eye injuries among these union carpenters were very common, but the rate of injuries severe enough to require paid time off work was quite low. These findings raise questions about factors which might influence the failure to use appropriate protection including availability and acceptability of eye protection, use by peers, and perception of risk.
Keywords
Workers; Occupational-exposure; Injuries; Eyes; Eye-injuries; Eye-damage; Occupational-health; Risk-factors; Risk-analysis; Eye-protection; Eye-protective-equipment; Construction-workers; Traumatic-injuries
CODEN
AOEHE9
Publication Date
19991001
Document Type
Journal Article
Funding Amount
754401
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2000
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-CCR-412111
Issue of Publication
10
ISSN
1047-322X
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Health Services Research
Source Name
Applied Occupational and Environmental Hygiene
State
NC; WA
Performing Organization
Duke University Medical Center, Department of Community and Family Medicine, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Durham, North Carolina
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