Use of workers' compensation data for occupational safety and health: proceedings from June 2012 workshop. Utterback DF, Schnorr TM, eds. Cincinnati, OH: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 2013-147, 2013 May; :VIII
Workers' compensation systems in the U.S. have grown complex since their initiation a century ago. All U.S. states (except Texas) require workers' compensation insurance coverage by nearly all employers. Each jurisdiction mandates that workers' compensation programs create reports for workplace injuries and illnesses and each state has an agency that collects at least a portion of these reports. Standardized workers' compensation claims and program related information for a large portion of the states are also collected by industry organizations. Additionally, the workers' compensation insurance industry loss prevention programs generate records on employer risks and hazards. These resources on injuries, illnesses, hazards and other risks have yet to be fully utilized for occupational safety and health research and surveillance. The purpose for the June 2012 Use of Workers' Compensation Data for Occupational Safety and Health Workshop was to continue to explore ways in which workers' compensation information can be used for these purposes. The National Academies has called for greater use of surveillance data in order to identify priorities, focus resources and evaluate prevention program effectiveness. Six white papers were drafted for the workshop and discussed in breakout groups. At the meeting, thirty-five poster and platform presentations described studies that utilized workers' compensation information while exploring limitations of these resources. These workshop proceedings contain summary articles for the presentations plus notes from the discussion groups for the white papers. The workshop was co-sponsored by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE), International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions (IAIABC), National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Safety and Health Assessment for Research and Prevention (SHARP) program. Continuing research and surveillance with workers' compensation resources can fill important gaps in our knowledge about workplace hazards and their impact on human health. Despite substantial differences among states, many public health and workers' compensation organizations are pursuing these opportunities (Appendix A). Everyone involved can help insure that the records for this complex industry are complete and accurate in order to maximize their potential use for protecting public interests.
Workers; Work-environment; Injuries; Accidents; Risk-factors; Hazards; Health-protection; Surveillance-programs; Preventive-medicine
Use of workers' compensation data for occupational safety and health: proceedings from June 2012 workshop.