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Hospitalized occupational injuries and illnesses treated in the United States emergency departments.

Tyler KL; Jackson LL
APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association, 2003 Nov; :66617
To estimate the number and rate of nonfatal occupational hospitalized injuries and illnesses treated in emergency departments and to compare work-related hospitalized injuries to those treated and released from emergency departments. Data were obtained from emergency department records through the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), a national probability sample of United States 24-hour emergency departments. An estimated 70,100 (+/-16,900) nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses treated in emergency departments in 1999 resulted in hospitalization. Hospitalized males had an injury/illness rate (7.5+/-1.9 per 10,000 full-time equivalent workers (FTE)) three times higher than females (2.3+/-0.6). Despite workers <54 comprising 82% (57,800+/-14,600) of hospitalized injuries, the injury rate for workers >55 (7.8+/-1.8) was two times higher, although not statistically significant. Dislocations/fractures (36%), lacerations/punctures (13%), and concussions (8%) represented 58% of hospitalized injuries. Contact with objects and equipment (37%), i.e., struck by falling or hand-held objects, and falls (33%) were the leading hospitalized injury events. About 40% (23,300+/-5,000) of injuries to workers <54 were due to contact with objects and equipment resulting in fractures (26%) and severe lacerations (23%). Falls comprised about half (5,600+/-1,500) of hospitalized injuries to workers >55 with 77% of these falls resulting in fractures. Many hospitalized injuries occurred in construction (21%), manufacturing (16%), and services (14%) industries. Overall, agriculture comprised 8% of hospitalized injuries; however among workers ³65, agriculture represented 28% of their injuries. Conclusions: Prevention of the most severe workplace injuries must focus on contact with objects and falls, taking into account age-specific issues by industry.
Injuries; Occupational-diseases; Risk-factors; Occupational-hazards; Emergency-treatment; Injury-prevention; Sampling; Demographic-characteristics; Sex-factors; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Agricultural-industry; Agricultural-workers; Traumatic-injuries
Division of Safety Research, NIOSH, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS H1808, Morgantown, WV 26505
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APHA 131st Annual Meeting and Exposition, San Francisco, California, November 15-19, 2003
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division