NIOSHTIC-2 Publications Search

Eye injuries at a large construction project: a better understanding through compensation data and injury investigations.

Jackson LL; Borgerding JA; Lowery JT; Glazner JE
NOIRS 2000 - Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, October 17-19, 2000, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :56
The construction of Denver International Airport (DIA) in 1989 through 1994 represented more than 31 million hours of work completed by over 32,000 workers. In December 1990, an owner-controlled insurance program (OCIP) began providing workers' compensation insurance for all contractors and included an on-site medical clinic and designated provider/medical referral system. We analyzed the OCIP injury database of 4,634 claims with medical payments along with injury reports (for approximately 90% of claims) and accident investigation reports (for approximately 50% of claims) from the building of DIA to develop a better understanding of construction-related eye injury risk factors. An estimated 14% (649 claims) of compensation claims with medical treatment (other than simple first aid) were eye injuries. Eye injuries occurred mostly to men (96%) who were frequently younger than 40 (66%). A foreign body in the eye was most frequently reported (87%) with some burn (8%), contusion (2%), and laceration (1.5%) eye injuries. The majority of eye injuries occurred disproportionately to special trade contractors - SIC 17 (68%). Heavy construction contractors, SIC 16, and building construction, SIC 15, had far fewer eye injuries (15% and 10%, respectively). Among the construction trades, electricians had the most eye injuries (30%), followed by cement masons (19%), operating engineers (13%), plumbers (10%), and iron workers (9%). Injury investigation reports provided additional details on the injury event and for about one half of the injuries indicated if safety eye protection was worn at the time of injury. Among these cases with additional information, most workers reported wearing some form of safety eye protection at the time of injury and that objects commonly went around the protection - particularly when working overhead. The OCIP injury data in combination with the investigation reports provide a unique prospective on construction eye injuries.
Accident rates; Accident statistics; Accidents; Accident prevention; Injuries; Traumatic injuries; Injury prevention; Construction industry; Construction workers; Construction equipment; Surveillance programs; Eye damage; Eye injuries; Eyes; Eye protection; Eye protective equipment; Eye shields; Statistical analysis; Epidemiology; Electrical workers; Plumbers
Publication Date
Document Type
Fiscal Year
NIOSH Division
SIC Code
15; 16; 17
Source Name
NOIRS 2000 - Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, October 17-19, 2000, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division