Surveillance of construction worker injuries through an urban emergency department.
Hunting KL; Nessel-Stephens L; Sanford SM; Shesser R; Welch LS
J Occup Med 1994 Mar; 36(3):356-364
An urban emergency department based surveillance program was established to learn about the causes of nonfatal construction worker injuries and to identify injury cases for further work site based investigations and/or prevention programs. Construction workers with work related injuries or illnesses were identified from a review of medical records of all patients treated at the George Washington University Emergency Department during the 2 year period November, 1990 through October, 1992. Information was obtained on 592 injured construction workers with a work related diagnosis. Data included worker demographic characteristics, type of injury, and injury circumstances. The most commonly treated injuries among the construction workers were lacerations (38%), followed by strains and sprains (17.9%), contusions (15.7%), and eye injuries (12.3%). Injuries were most commonly caused by sharp objects (25.8%), followed by falls (17.9%) and falling objects (11.8%). The most common occupation was carpenter (23.8%), followed by laborer (17.1%), construction worker (10.8%), and electrician (8.1%). Preventive measures were discussed. The authors conclude that Emergency Department records are a valuable source for the initial identification and description of work related injuries. This information can then be applied to the formulation of prevention strategies.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Cooperative-Agreement; Accident-rates; Eye-injuries; Construction-workers; Traumatic-injuries; Accident-statistics; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Musculoskeletal-system-disorders
Dr. Katherine Hunting, Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 2300 K Street, NW, Room 201, Washington, DC 20037
Cooperative Agreement; Construction
Journal of Occupational Medicine
Center to Protect Workers' Rights, Washington, DC