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Construction injury: patterns of factors contributing to different types of injury events.

Glazner-JE; Bondy-J; Lezotte-DC; Guarini-K; Lipscomb-HJ
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Oct; :57
Patterns of injuries sustained on construction sites are fairly well documented, but less is known about factors contributing to different types of injuries. To explore these, we analyzed narratives from injury reports for 3683 injuries sustained during construction of Denver International Airport. We reviewed descriptions of injuries to identify the initial energy exchange leading to each injury. This we refer to as "mechanism of injury event" (MOIE), e.g., the slip/trip leading to a fall rather than the fall itself. To classify contributing factors, we adapted Haddon's matrix to encompass 4 primary categories of contributing factors: human, object, environmental and organizational. As many factors as could be identified were coded for each report. These data were linked to coded claims data including Workers' Compensation payment information. Different patters of contributing factors emerged for different MOIEs. Victim actions were identified as contributing to the majority of injuries from burns, cumulative trauma, foreign body eye, straining motion leading to overexertion, struck by/against, and twisted by/pulled by. Environmental factors contributed to a majority of injuries with MOIEs of fall (without slip/trip), motor vehicle/heavy equipment, and slips/trips. Tools contributed to the majority of burns and twisted by/pulled by injuries. Detailed analysis of slips/trips, the most expensive ($10.6 million) and second most common MOIE, revealed that environmental factors and building materials were more often implicated (84.5% and 23% of injuries, respectively) than were victim actions (15%). Environmental factors contributing to slips/trips included walking surface, terrain, slippery conditions and stairs. Among materials, wire, pipe and lumber contributed most frequently. Information about the injury burden of an MOIE and its contributing factors identified in brief narratives can help focus prevention efforts and guide targeted research.
Construction-workers; Construction-industry; Construction; Injuries; Environmental-factors; Tools; Occupational-accidents; Occupational-hazards; Construction-equipment; Construction-materials
Publication Date
Document Type
Abstract; Conference/Symposia Proceedings
Funding Amount
Funding Type
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Surveillance Research Methods
Source Name
NOIRS 2003-Abstracts of the National Occupational Injury Research Symposium 2003, October 28-30, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Performing Organization
University of Colorado, Health Services Center, Denver, Colorado
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division