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Occupational injury mortality rates: comparison of New Zealand, Australia and the United States.

Feuer AM; Williamson A; Stout NA; Driscoll T
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19, 2000. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :80
A major impediment to international comparisons of the nature, distribution and causes of work-related fatal injuries has been the lack of comparability between data sets, both in terms of inclusions in aggregated statistics, and also in terms of classifications used to group the data on critically important dimensions such as occupation of the injured workers. The present study aimed to compare work-related injury deaths in New Zealand, Australia and the US, using national collections based on vital records covering the decade 1985 - 1994. Fatal injuries of persons aged 16 to 84 years, where death resulted due to unintentional causes or due to homicide were included, while work-related motor vehicle traffic crashes and work-related injuries to bystanders were excluded. Classifications of occupation and industry were harmonised to produce comparable groupings in both numerator and denominator data. The rate of fatal injury declined in each country over the study period, but was consistently highest for New Zealand and lowest for the US. The distribution of age specific rates was remarkably consistent, with a very marked increase in rate after 60 years of age in each country. The distributions by occupation and industry were also remarkably consistent, with the highest rates evident among Agricultural workers (including farming, forestry and fishing) and in the category covering trade workers, machine operators and labourers. The relative ranking of the three countries in this comparison differs to that based on data published through routinely collected data such as that published by the ILO, highlighting the importance of comparability of data sets. The similarity of the distributions of deaths by age, occupation and industry suggest that some of the risk factors for work-related injury deaths will be common to all three countries, at least as far as indicated by analysis of broad groupings for industry and occupation.
Accident rates; Accident statistics; Accidents; Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Injury prevention; Surveillance programs; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Mortality data; Mortality rates; Mortality surveys
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NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division