NIOSH Center for Workers' Compensation Studies (CWCS)
We are currently working on several projects which use workers’ compensation data to:
- Prevent work-related injuries
- Identify emerging health and safety concerns
- Evaluate leading indicators (measures of hazards and controls that predict future injuries/ illnesses) in employer safety and health programs
- Evaluate cost-shifting for work-related injuries and illnesses between workers’ compensation and other health and social insurance programs
Below are brief descriptions of several ongoing or recently completed NIOSH studies, many with an emphasis on economics, that involve the use of workers’ compensation data. Studies are organized in relation to the goals of the CWCS.
Projects that Support Strategic Goal 1
Use workers’ compensation data to identify and track work-related health conditions
Intermediate Goal 1.1
Understand the uses and limitations of workers’ compensation systems for research and surveillance of work-related health conditions
Primer on Workers’ Compensation Data for Public Health Purposes
This document provides an overview of workers' compensation systems and data sources. It presents background on the following aspects of workers' compensation: (1) benefits and premiums; (2) the relationship between premiums and safety incentives; (3) roles of insurers, state agencies and third party administrators; (4) types of policies; (5) claims and other workers’ compensation insurance information on medical treatments, costs and disability status; (6) limitations of current industry data standards; (7) loss prevention programs; and (8) public health research, surveillance and regulations. See http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2014-110/pdfs/2014-110.pdf.
Project Members: David Utterback, Ph.D., Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Project Period: 2012-2013.
Use of Workers’ Compensation Data for Occupational Safety and Health Workshops
NIOSH co-sponsored two workshops on the use of workers’ compensation for occupational safety and health. The proceedings have been assembled into two NIOSH publications.
Project Members: David Utterback, Ph.D., Theresa Schnorr, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2010-2013;
Project Publications: Utterback D, Schnorr T, eds., Use of workers' compensation data for occupational injury & illness prevention. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2010-152, 2010 May; 1-185NIOSH 2010
Intermediate Goal 1.2
Analyze existing state-level workers’ compensation data and use results to identify research and intervention priorities
Workers’ Compensation Surveillance Funding Opportunity
The purpose of this cooperative agreement is to compile, analyze, and disseminate workers’ compensation (WC) data to promote the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, fatalities, and exposures to hazards within the states and throughout the nation. The Workers’ Compensation Surveillance Cooperative Agreements are intended to foster collaborations between state health departments, state workers’ compensation agencies, other eligible organizations and businesses and provide the resources to initiate or expand state-based workers’ compensation surveillance and intervention activities. The grant builds off the framework of the NIOSH State Surveillance Portfolio, in which a number of states have been collecting a series of occupational health indicators, including certain WC data (http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/oep/statereports.html).
NIOSH intends to commit approximately up to $5.4 million in new money over a period of six years to fund up to 9 states/grantees for three consecutive years (project period) per state. An applicant state may request up to $200,000 in total costs per 12-month budget period. See http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PAR-14-227.html for more information.
Project Contact: Steven Inserra, MPH CFGM, Office of Extramural Programs; E-mail: email@example.com; Project Period: 2015-2019.
Forecasting the Burden of Injuries and Illnesses in Small Businesses (2008-2013)
This study performed a trend analysis on fatal and nonfatal occupational injuries in small businesses, employing less than one hundred employees. It also estimated the economic burden of occupational fatal and nonfatal injuries in these small businesses for the past five years and will forecast the burden of these injuries and illnesses in small businesses. The study will also estimate the impact of forecasted injuries in small businesses on future national economic output, expressed as gross domestic product (GDP) and employment. It is a multi-phase study using multiple national level datasets from various sources, such as, workers’ compensation costs from NCCI, work-related fatalities from Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) research files, work-related investigations on fatal and nonfatal injuries from Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) Integrated Management Information System (IMIS), employment, wages and salary related data from BLS, and U.S. Census Bureau, and others. All these data sources were merged with each other by industry sector, year of injury, gender, age groups and other variables to estimate rates and numbers of fatal and nonfatal injuries in small businesses. Direct and indirect costs of these injuries were estimated using workers’ compensation costs, wages, salaries, and other costs related variables following the literature. Multiple reports have been generated and will be published in peer reviewed journals.
Project Contact: Anasua Bhattacharya, Ph.D; Division of Education and Information Dissemination; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Project Period: 2011-2014.
Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) Data Historical Trend Analysis (2001-2010)
This study will generate multi-sector incidence rates for OHBWC workers’ compensation outcomes (e.g. case incidence, lost time case incidence, cost per employee per year) from 2001–2010 and describe industry trends and high risk industry segments by 3 to 6 digit North American Industrial Classification Codes (NAICS), size of company, and claim causes. The purpose of the analysis is to produce information that can be used by OHBWC-insured employers to benchmark their safety and health performance versus industry peers and develop data-driven plans for prevention. This data will also be used by OHBWC and researchers to understand industry risk trends and tailor safety, health, and disability management services to efficiently allocate resources by OHBWC service offices throughout the state. The overall goal is to reduce the frequency and cost of work-related injuries and illnesses in Ohio, especially for small businesses, which account for a majority of all workplaces.
Project Contact: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Bertke, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D. ; Project Period: 2011-2015.
Analysis of Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation Data in the Mining Industry
The overarching project goal is to reduce the incidence and severity of work-related injuries and illnesses in the mining industry (NAICS 212). In part, this will be accomplished by evaluating the demographic and case characteristics of worker’s compensation injury and illness claims 2007-2011, including causation current topic, current claim type, date of injury, injury year, injured workers age, hired days lag, age, occupation, NAICS, ICD Codes, total days lost, to identify opportunities for loss prevention efforts.
Project Contact: Jamie Lancaster, Ph.D., Office of Mine Safety and Health Research E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2013-2015
Workers' Compensation Claims for Traumatic Brain Injuries—Ohio, 2001–2010
Annually, 1.7 million people are treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) in the United States. Although there are many studies on nonfatal TBIs in the U.S. general population, research on work-related TBIs is limited. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) data are of particular benefit to the study of occupational TBI as each claim can have up to eight or more ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes that can be used by researchers to identify true work-related TBIs. The purpose of this proposed project is to describe work-related TBIs from 2001 through 2010. Specific objectives are to: (1) describe characteristics of the injured workers, (2) identify industry groups and occupation (if possible) at the highest risk for work-related TBIs, (3) examine the external causes of TBIs, (4) enumerate annual TBIs and assess trends of TBI rates over time, (5) assess the severity of these injuries, and (6) identify opportunities to prevent work-related TBIs.
Project Contact: Srinivas Konda, M.P.H., Division of Safety Research; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Audrey Reichard, Ph.D., Tiesman Hope, Ph.D., Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Scott Hendricks, Ph.D., James Collins, Ph.D., Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Lynne Pinkerton, M.D.; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Evaluation of Claim Rates and Costs for Construction Sector Nail Gun Injuries in Ohio, 2001-2010
The goal of this project is to characterize Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) claims from 2001-2010 that resulted from a pneumatic nail gun injury in construction work with respect to claim rates, claim cost, and other predictor variables. From the identified claims the analysis will calculate a nail gun injury rate per 100 FTE in relevant industry classification codes (e.g. framing, roofing, siding, finish carpentry). Additional analyses will be conducted of the strength of association between nail gun injury rates and employer size and employee experience (age, days since hiring date). Nail gun injury claim costs (medical only and lost time) will also be summarized.
Project Contact: Brian Lowe, Ph.D., Division of Applied Research and Technology; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NIOSH Project Members: Steve Hudock, Ph.D., Jim Albers, Ph.D., Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Jill Raudabaugh, M.S.; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Workers' Compensation Claims for Private Sector Ambulance Services—Ohio, 2001–2011
A concurrent study identified Ambulance Services as having one of the highest claim rates by industry subsector among all of Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) insured, single-location, private employers from 2001–2010 across all NIOSH industry sectors. This study will further examine workers’ compensation (WC) claims for Ambulance Service workers. OHBWC insured workers’ compensation policies and claims for the Ambulance Services industry subsector will be identified among single-location, private employers with a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of 62191. Rates of WC claims per 100 adjusted full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) estimated from labor, productivity, and costs surveys will be calculated. Causes of injury will be manually and auto-coded into three mutually exclusive categories: ergonomic–related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), slips/trips/falls (STF), or any other event/exposure (OTH). In addition, one of 57 injury categories (e.g. contusion, fracture, or sprains, etc.) will be assigned to each claim based on the ICD-9-CM diagnosis code for the most severe diagnosis. Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) codes will also be utilized to further determine the exposure of the injury claims.
Project Contact: Chia Wei, Ph.D., Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Bertke, Ph.D.; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Workers' Compensation Claims for Temporary Agency Employers—Ohio, 2001–2011
Prior studies have indicated that temporary workers are at increased risk for injury/illness compared to permanent employees in similar industries and occupations. This study will further examine the cause and diagnoses of workers’ compensation (WC) claims for temporary agency workers and develop prevention strategies. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) insured workers’ compensation policies and claims for the temporary agency industry subsector will be identified among single-location, private employers with a North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code of 56132. Rates of WC claims per 100 adjusted full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) estimated from labor, productivity, and costs surveys will be calculated and compared to general industry. Claim rates by manual class codes (industry/occupation insurance risk classes) will also be calculated using employer payroll. Manual class code rates within temporary agency employers will be compared to matched manual class code rates in non-temporary agency employers to determine if temporary workers are at elevated risk for injury/illness. Causes of injury will be manually and auto-coded into three mutually exclusive categories: ergonomic–related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD), slips/trips/falls (STF), or any other event/exposure (OTH). Injury diagnoses will be analyzed according to ICD-9-CM diagnosis codes. Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) codes will also be utilized to determine the detailed cause (event/exposure) of the injury claims.
Project Contact: Chia Wei, Ph.D., Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NIOSH Project Members: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; Steve Bertke, Ph.D.; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Using Informatics to Advance the Use of Workers’ Compensation Data
The purpose of this project is to provide a means to advance the goals of the NIOSH CWCS for maximizing the use of workers’ compensation (WC) data by providing a tool to automate the coding of the industry and occupation (I&O) data found on WC records. This project will modify the existing software known as the NIOSH Industry and Occupation Computerized Coding System (NIOCCS) in order to accept and process the unique and varied I&O data found on workers' compensation records and convert this information into standardized I&O codes. The major output of this project is a new release of the NIOCCS software which is available free for public use via the internet. Intermediate outputs include software development lifecycle reports, testing results using different state WC data, updated user documentation, and new NIOCCS training materials.
Project Contact: Susan Nowlin, M.S., Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; NIOSH Project Team Members: Pamela Schumacher (NIOSH), Kelly Vanoli (SRA), Jeff Purdin (SRA), Raymond Sarmiento (NIOSH), Elizabeth Smith (GAI), Steve Bertke (NIOSH); OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Projects that Support Strategic Goal 2:
Understand and reduce risk factors for injuries/ illnesses through economic and intervention research.
Intermediate Goal 2.1
Characterize occupational injury and illness risk, severity, and cost using workers’ compensation data across states, industries, size of employers, and occupations
Total Burden of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses White Paper
A white paper on the total burden of work-related injuries and illnesses, including the usefulness of workers’ compensation data for this burden’s estimation was co-authored for presentation and discussion at the second Workers’ Compensation Workshop that was co-sponsored by NIOSH and resulted in the creation of the NIOSH CWCS. The paper was a collaborative effort among economists from NIOSH, Boston University, University of British Columbia, and the Institute for Work and Health (IWH). We are now pursuing publication of a succinct version of the white paper in a peer-reviewed journal and publication of the white paper as a document co-branded by NIOSH and IWH.
Project Contact: Rene Pana-Cryan, Ph.D.; Office of the Director; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; External Project Members: Les Boden, Ph.D., Boston University; Chris McLeod, Ph.D., University of British Columbia; Emile Tompa, Ph.D., Institute for Work and Health.
Relationship of Workers’ Compensation, Group Health, Short/ Long Term Disability Costs
In 2007, NIOSH obtained access to several years of MarketScan data (from Thomson-Reuters) on medical claims and the health and productivity of workers at several large employers. Data on health-related costs for family members of these employees also are included. Data are being analyzed to better understand the relationship between workers’ compensation, group health, and short-term disability costs, and the associated health and productivity consequences for employees and their family members. In 2011, additional years and modules of data were purchased and a series of articles were published or continued to be drafted and are at different stages of review and clearance. In addition, through a partnership with the Social Security Administration (SSA), NIOSH, and Boston University, linkages between state-based workers’ compensation and long-term disability benefits data will be studied to better understand the long-term effects of work on health. The National Death Index will also be linked to SSA and state-based workers’ compensation data to assess long-term effects of work injury on mortality.
Project Contact: Rene Pana-Cryan, Ph.D.; Office of the Director; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NIOSH Project Members: Abay Getahun, Ph.D., Frank Hearl, Ph.D.; Anasua Bhattacharya, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA.
Incidence and Cost of Depression after Occupational Injury
This study examined if injured workers were more likely than non-injured workers to be treated for depression after an occupational injury and estimated the cost paid by group medical insurance. Nearly 367,900 injured and non-injured workers were drawn from the 2005 Thomson Reuters MarketScan data and we used descriptive, logistic, and two-part model regression analyses. The odds of injured workers being treated for depression within the study period were 45% higher than those of non-injured workers (95% confidence interval, 1.17–1.78). The unconditional average cost of outpatient depression treatment was 63% higher for injured workers than for non-injured workers. Conclusions: Injured workers were more likely than non-injured workers to suffer from depression during the study period. Consequently, additional costs are incurred for treating injured workers’ depression; these costs were not covered by the workers’ compensation system.
Project Contact: Abay Asfaw, Ph.D.; Office of the Director; E-mail: email@example.com; Project Members: Kerry Souza, Ph.D.Project Publications: Asfaw A, Souza K. Incidence and cost of depression after occupational injury. J Occup Environ Med. 2012 Sep;54(9):1086-91.
Workers’ Compensation Claim Acceptance or Denial: Effects on Group Health Insurance Utilization and Costs within Two Weeks of Injury
Workers’ compensation programs were established as a social insurance against medical expenses and lost wages that result from occupational injuries and illnesses. Filing for workers’ compensation is a lengthy, complicated process and research suggests that workers under-file for workers’ compensation benefits. Previous research suggests that non-workers’ compensation insurance systems, such as group health insurance (GHI), Medicare, or Medicaid, at least partially cover work-related injury and illness costs. This project further examined GHI utilization and costs by comparing those outcomes immediately following specific injuries for which workers’ compensation claims either were accepted or denied. We focused on a narrow two-week time window between the occurrence of injury and GHI utilization to limit the influence of other factors not associated with a workers’ compensation claim.
Project Contact: Abay Asfaw, Ph.D.; Office of the Director; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NIOSH Project Members: Roger Rosa, Ph.D.; and Rebecca Mao, Ph.D.
Analysis of Medical Cost Records from MarketScan MedStat Database
This project aims at examining whether workers with workers’ compensation claims also have elevated health care utilization costs associated with the same injury or illness event that appear in their medical insurance and disability compensation systems. This project will also investigate if work-related injury or illness has consequences on employment status, such as, early retirement, from full time status to part time status, and others.
Project Contact: Anasua Bhattacharya, Ph.D; Division of Education and Information Dissemination; E-mail: email@example.com; Project Period: 2011-2014.
Estimating the Direct and Indirect Costs of Injuries and Illnesses in Wholesale and Retail Trade Sectors (2007-2013)
This study will estimate the direct and indirect costs of all occupational fatal and nonfatal injuries in the various sectors and sub-sectors of wholesale and retail trade.
Project Contact: Anasua Bhattacharya, Ph.D; Division of Education and Information Dissemination; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Project Period: 2011-2014.
Assessing the relationship between work-related accidents and injuries and exposures to noise and solvents
Major goals are to reduce accidents by learning more about the relationship between workplace accidents and injuries and exposure to noise and solvents. The Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC) and NIOSH will collaborate to reduce noise and solvent exposure data from the OHBWC industrial hygiene consultation reports. The data will then be compared to claim of injury data for these companies as reported in the OHBWC system. Data will be used as the measure of exposure for some Ohio companies that will be compared to the claims history.
Project Contact: Cherie Estill, M.S., Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D.; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2016
Intermediate Goal 2.2
Identify employer, carrier, and state policies, programs and characteristics that significantly impact injury and illness rates and costs among workers
Costs and Benefits of Workplace Health Improvements
This project encompasses several efforts to improve methods of evaluating the costs and benefits of health and safety improvements. One of the components of this project that addresses workers’ compensation costs focuses on the methods for estimating costs and benefits of health and safety improvements for the individual employer. Various methods used to estimate these costs and benefits are being compared and assessed in order to develop a comprehensive inventory of potentially relevant costs and benefits, and a summary of methods for estimating them. The results will be published as a journal article which can be used as a basis for guidance that can be used by both employers and researchers. Another component of this project supports another NIOSH project by contributing to publications on the relationship between injuries of workers’ compensation claimants and subsequent changes in health care claims of workers’ family members.
Project Contact: Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Project Period: 2011-2013.
Effectiveness of Intervention Programs Provided by the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (OHBWC)
OHBWC offers over 15 programs and services to reduce workers’ compensation incidence, severity, and cost for clients. The purpose of this study is to determine the effectiveness and return-on-investment (ROI) of the OHBWC sponsored programs for all industry sectors from 1999–2009. This will allow OHBWC to focus on evidence based programs and allocate resources appropriately. Best practices will also be shared for all employers nationwide. The main program of interest is the Safety Intervention Grants (SIG) Program (where OHBWC provided matching funds to implement engineering controls at hundreds of insured employers since 1999) but all programs will be researched. The current SIG analysis involves comparing employers before/ after intervention, controlling for the change in workers’ compensation rates that are independent of the interventions. A second analysis will be to evaluate the effectiveness and ROI of multiple OHBWC programs, including onsite OHBWC consultation services. The method will be to compare pre/ post workers’ compensation rates of participant companies versus non-participant companies, while controlling for industry type, company size, self-rated safety and health programs, prior loss history, and participation in other programs and loss control consultation frequency. Outputs will include peer reviewed journal manuscripts and a web-based intervention effectiveness summary.
Project Contact: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D.; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Bertke, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Carol Morrison, B.S., M.B.A., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2011-2014.Project Publications: The effectiveness of insurer-supported safety and health engineering controls in reducing workers' compensation claims and costs. Wurzelbacher SJ, Bertke SJ, Lampl MP, Bushnell PT, Meyers AR, Robins DC, Al-Tarawneh IS. Am J Ind Med . 2014 Dec; 57(12):1398-412.
Evaluating the Effectiveness of Individual Elements of Employer Injury/ Illness Prevention Programs (I2P2) in the Wholesale Retail Trade Sector
NIOSH, the OHBWC, and the University of Texas School of Public Health (UTSPH) will examine the association between survey-assessed I2P2 leading indicators (organizational policies, procedures, practices) and workers’ compensation outcomes in a large (~ 3,000 employers) stratified sample of OHBWC-insured wholesale/ retail trade (WRT) firms from 2013–2014. Crucial I2P2 elements and practices with particularly high impact on workers’ compensation losses will be identified in this study and disseminated to the WRT sector. An evidence-based I2P2 evaluation tool will also be disseminated. Planned outputs include peer reviewed journal manuscripts and a web-based summary.
Project Contact: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D.; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; NIOSH Project Members: Alysha Meyers, Ph.D., Steve Bertke, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., MPA; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; UTSPH Project Members: Ben Amick, Ph.D., David Gimeno, Ph.D., Raven Cunningham, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2011-2015.
Evaluation of Slip, Trip, and Fall Prevention Practices in Food Services
The purpose of this research project is to evaluate the efficacy of slip, trip, and fall (STF) prevention practices in the food services industry. A randomized controlled trial is being conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of slip-resistant shoes in reducing slips and falls injuries. The study involves the participation of approximately 4,000 employees wearing slip-resistant shoes and will continue through 2014. One of the largest food service companies in the US is collaborating in this NIOSH-led research by providing access to its workforce. It is anticipated that this research would impact worker safety by providing scientific evidence and business case support for a comprehensive STF prevention program to effectively reduce STF injuries among food service workers. By demonstrating the effectiveness of STF prevention measures, it is anticipated that food service companies initially hesitant to expend time and money on prevention programs with unknown effectiveness could use these research findings to help justify implementing prevention strategies.
Project Contact: Jennifer L. Bell, Ph.D.; Division of Safety Research; E-mail: JBell@cdc.gov; Project Period: 2010-2014.
Machine Guarding – Small to Medium Enterprises, Impact R&D
This project will work with small wood product manufacturing businesses to limit the number of contact incidents with stationary sawing machinery. Many small companies do not have the resources to have dedicated safety professionals to interpret the many different machine safety regulations and standards. This project will develop risk assessment templates based on machine safety regulations/standards to guide companies to minimize risk from stationary sawing machinery.
Project Contact: Jim Harris, Ph.D., P.E.; Division of Safety Research; E-mail: email@example.com; Project Period: 2012–2015.
Musculoskeletal Disorder (MSD) Intervention Effectiveness in Material Handling Operations
NIOSH and the OHBWC are collaborating to determine the effectiveness and cost-benefit of MSD primary prevention approaches (material handling engineering controls) in a multi-site prospective study at OHBWC-insured companies from 2012–2015, using a randomized control trial design. Interventions include a number of controls designed to improve material handling during delivery, installation, receiving, and/ or other processes such as stocking shelves. The costs of the interventions are being funded through existing OHBWC Safety Intervention Grant (SIG) funds and participating employers. Main outcomes are affected employee-level low back/ shoulder pain (employee reported) and affected workgroup-level workers’ compensation claims, productivity, and quality (employer-reported). The return-on-investment (ROI) of the interventions will also be calculated from the employer, OHBWC, and combined perspectives. The target is to recruit 40 employers with 400 affected employees. Best practices will be shared with employers nationwide and planned outputs include peer reviewed journal manuscripts and a web-based intervention effectiveness summary.
Project Contact: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D.; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; OHBWC Project Members: Mike Lampl, M.S., Dave Robins, A.A.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph. D.; Project Period: 2011-2014.
Workplace Wellness Grant Program Effectiveness Evaluation
In 2012, the OHBWC launched the Workplace Wellness Grant Program where an estimated 266 employers and 13,000 employees will be provided $4 million in funds over the next four years to implement wellness programs. NIOSH and OHBWC researchers are conducting a study to:
- Measure effectiveness of wellness programs by comparing data from pre- and post-implementation of a wellness program on the following outcomes: a) workers’ compensation claim, severity (days lost per claim), and cost rates, b) aggregate health metrics c) absenteeism rates, d) turnover rates, and e) healthcare cost per employee
- Determine the relationship between workers’ compensation claim, severity, and cost rates and changes in yearly measures pre- and post-implementation for a) wellness program elements, b) occupational safety and health program elements, and c) wellness-occupational safety and health program integration measures
- Determine the total costs, savings, and savings (benefits) to cost ratios associated with grant-supported wellness programs from the perspective of the OHBWC and the participating employers.
Best practices will be shared with employers nationwide and planned outputs include peer reviewed journal manuscripts and a web-based intervention effectiveness summary.
Project Contact: Alysha Meyers, Ph.D.; Division of Surveillance, Hazard Evaluations, and Field Studies; E-mail: email@example.com; NIOSH Project Members: Steve Wurzelbacher, Ph.D., Steve Bertke, Ph.D., Tim Bushnell, Ph.D., Kaori Fujishiro, Ph.D.; OHBWC Project Members: Carol Morrison, B.S., M.B.A., Mike Rienerth, M.S., Abe Tarawneh, Ph.D.; Project Period: 2014-2018.
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