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Compensation costs of work-related back disorders among union carpenters, Washington State 1989-2003.

Authors
Lipscomb-HJ; Dement-JM; Silverstein-B; Cameron-W; Glazner-JE
Source
Am J Ind Med 2009 Aug; 52(8):587-595
NIOSHTIC No.
20037709
Abstract
BACKGROUND: We measured resources used to provide medical care and to estimate lost productivity represented by payments for lost work time or impairment for work-related back injuries among a large cohort of union carpenters over 15 years. METHODS: Using administrative data we identified a cohort of carpenters, their hours worked, their workers' compensation claims and associated costs. After adjustment for inflation and discounting to 2006 dollars, yearly costs for injuries and payment rates based on hours worked were calculated. Using negative binomial regression, dollars paid per claim were modeled based on age, gender, union tenure, and predominant type of work of the carpenter and whether the injury resulted from overexertion or acute trauma. RESULTS: Workers' compensation costs for back injuries exceeded $128 million dollars between 1998 and 2003, representing payments of $0.97 for each hour of work. Costs per hour of work declined substantively over time due largely to declining overexertion injury rates. Traumatic injuries, though less common than overexertion injuries, were more expensive. Costs increased with the number of prior back injuries and with increasing age, beginning as early as age 30. CONCLUSIONS: Increasing costs even among relatively young carpenters likely reflect the heavy nature of their work rather than simply the effects of biological aging. Musculoskeletal back problems remain a common, and consequently costly, source of injury among these carpenters that needs to be addressed through engineering modifications; there are also clearly needs for prevention of the often more costly back injuries associated with acute trauma
Keywords
Age-factors; Back-injuries; Men; Women; Humans; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders; Construction-workers; Occupational-exposure; Occupational-hazards; Occupational-health; Workers; Author Keywords: work-related back disorders; musculoskeletal; costs (health care, indemnity, impairment); construction workers; carpenters; workers'compensation
Contact
Hester J. Lipscomb, P.O. Box 3834, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27710
CODEN
AJIMD8
Publication Date
20090801
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
hester.lipscomb@duke.edu
Funding Type
Grant
Fiscal Year
2009
NTIS Accession No.
NTIS Price
Identifying No.
Grant-Number-R01-OH-008007
Issue of Publication
8
ISSN
0271-3586
Priority Area
Disease and Injury: Musculoskeletal Disorders of the Upper Extremities
Source Name
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
State
CO; MD; NC; WA
Performing Organization
Duke University
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