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Occupational injury prevention, executive summary.
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Position papers from The Third National Injury Control Conference: Setting the national agenda for injury control in the 1990s, April 22-25, 1991, Denver, Colorado. Atlanta, GA: National Center for Environmental Health and Injury Control, 1992 Apr; :39-47
Acute injury that occurs in association with work is a tragedy of enormous proportions. Every year in the United States: 1. Between 7,000 and 11,000 workers die because of job-related injuries. Most of these workers are in the prime of their lives; 2. 88,000 workers are hospitalized; 3. Almost 2 million injuries result in disability; 4. 75 million days of work are lost; 5. About 250,000 potential productive years of life are lost because of premature death. The overall cost of work-related injuries incurred in 1989 has been estimated by the National Safety Council at greater than $48 billion. This figure is less than the true cost because not all workers are included and intentional injuries are not counted. Even these statistics cannot convey the personal hardships that workers and their families undergo as a result of occupational injury and the tremendous cost to our society that these injuries impose. Most occupational incidents that result in injury to the worker are avoidable and could be prevented if known strategies were implemented widely. Strategies to reduce the number of injuries must be aggressive, directed, and supported by all who have a responsibility or interest in protecting workers, including workers themselves. Interdisciplinary action is crucial; government, industry, labor, universities, workers, and the public must focus attention on this problem and coordinate their efforts to solve it. Costs often play a significant role in decisions affecting occupational safety, both in public policy and at the individual company level. The costs of injury prevention are often given greater weight than the money that would be saved through reduced medical costs and increased productivity. In "selling" the prevention of occupational injuries, we need to stress the economic benefits as well as the human benefits.
Injuries; Injury-prevention; Traumatic-injuries; Accidents; Accident-prevention; Surveillance-programs
Book or book chapter
Position papers from The Third National Injury Control Conference: Setting the national agenda for injury control in the 1990s, April 22-25, 1991, Denver, Colorado
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Page last reviewed: March 11, 2019
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division