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Follow-back study of oldest workers with emergency department-treated injuries.

Castillo D; Rodriguez R
Am J Ind Med 1997 May; 31(5):609-618
A study of injuries among older workers was conducted. The records of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), an emergency department based injury surveillance system operated by NIOSH, were reviewed to identify injuries occurring to workers at least 63 years old that occurred over a 4.5 month (mo) period, from May 15 to September 30, 1993. A total of 291 cases were reported to the NEISS by participating hospital emergency departments during the 4.5mo period. Attempts were made to interview the cases by telephone to obtain detailed information about the injury, work history, any injury prevention training received, attitudes toward injury prevention, health services utilization, and injury sequelae. The 176 interviewed cases corresponded to an estimated 8,263 injuries occurring during the study period. By employment sector, the largest proportion of injuries, 45%, involved work in hospitals. Contact with objects and equipment and falls were the two leading causes of injury. Lacerations and contusions were the two major types of injury. Approximately 5% of the subjects reported that as a result of the injury, they were limited in the type or amount of work they could perform. A majority (51%) returned to work after the injury without missing any workdays. Workers 65yr or older, female workers, persons sustaining fractures and dislocations, and persons with injuries resulting from falls were least likely to return to work immediately after the injury. Approximately 69% of the subjects required return visits to a health care provider after the injury. Only 34% reported receiving training in injury prevention. The authors conclude that these results suggest that most injuries resulting from falls in older workers result in lost work time. The results of this and other studies, however, also show that older workers are not necessarily predisposed to sustaining an injury, although they appear to have reduced tolerance for injuries.
NIOSH-Author; Age-groups; Epidemiology; Occupational-accidents; Accident-analysis; Surveillance-programs; Risk-analysis; Traumatic-injuries; Emergency-treatment; Lost-work-days; Author Keywords: occupational injury; accidents, occupational; wounds and injury; older workers; self-employment; agriculture; training; disability; surveillance
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Journal Article
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NIOSH Division
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American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Page last reviewed: March 4, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division