A prospective longitudinal study of duty related injuries in urban fire fighters.
Johnson-CL; Beaton-R; Lewis-E; Ollis-T
NOIRS 2000--Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA, October 17-19. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2000 Oct; :33
Urban firefighters, by virtue of the often dangerous and labor-intensive emergency duties they perform, have an annual incidence of on the job injuries that is nearly six times the average reported by other private sector U.S. worker groups (IAFF, 1997). Exploring longitudinal data obtained from two U.S. metropolitan fire departments, the purpose of this investigation was to identify variables (both risk and protective factors) which might predict future duty related injury status (Injured: Yes/No). Methods and Sample: In a NIOSH surveillance study firefighter participants from two urban fire departments were asked to report if they had "been physically injured in the line of duty within the past year." Survey data were then collected from the firefighter participants every six months for the next 18 months. Subjects who were uninjured at baseline were selected for analysis (n= 185) and classified with regard to a subsequent job-related injury in the 18 month follow up period (Subsequent Injury: Yes/No). Baseline measures of demographics as well as symptoms and sources of stress were examined as potential variables predictive of future on the job injury. Findings and Conclusions: Results identified self reported symptoms of stress (SOS Total score) (r=0.22 p<0.01), reported concerns about potential "reductions in force, wages and benefits" (r=0.22 p<0.01), and "conveying news of tragedy" (r=0.21 p<0.01) as the most powerful predictors of future duty related injury in this sample. However, neither participant age, rank, nor any other demographic variable were significant predictors of future injury. Explanations and limitations of these findings as well as of implications for firefighter policy and training are considered.
Accidents; Accident-prevention; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Injury-prevention; Fire-fighters; Emergency-responders; Statistical-analysis; Epidemiology; Age-factors; Demographic-characteristics
NOIRS 2000 Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2000, Pittsburgh, PA., October 17-19, 2000