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A comparison of fatal occupational injury event characteristics from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and the Vital Statistics Mortality System.

Marsh SM; Jackson LL
J Saf Res 2013 Sep; 46:119-125
Objectives: The aim of this study was to examine utility of appending International Classification of Diseases (ICD) codes from Vital Statistics Mortality (VSM) data to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), and compare occupational event characteristics based on ICD external cause and BLS Occupational Injury and Illness Classification System (OIICS) event codes. Methods: We linked VSM records with CFOI records for 2003 and 2004. Results: Ninety-five percent of approximately 11,000 CFOI cases were linked to VSM cases. Linked data suggest that CFOI OIICS event and VSM ICD codes identified similar leading events. However, VSM data were generally less specific. Conclusion: Lack of detail inherent in ICD codes and death narratives limits specificity of injury characteristics in VSM data. Appending ICD codes to CFOI appears to offer little value. Research comparing work- and non-work-related events may be better served by having a defined framework to crosswalk both coding schemes to facilitate comparisons. Impact on industry: Over the last two decades, both ICD and OIICS have been used to characterize occupational injury circumstances; however, this is the first study to use linked case comparisons of the OIICS and ICD codes at a detailed level. This study confirmed that multiple source data systems provide more detail surrounding an incident than a single source data system does. Our results suggest that OIICS-coded CFOI data are a better source for occupational injury research and prevention purposes. For future comparison studies requiring ICD, it would be advantageous to have a defined framework that could easily be used to map both coding schemes (OIICS and ICD).
Information-retrieval-systems; Information-processing; Information-systems; Mortality-data; Statistical-analysis; Injuries; Traumatic-injuries; Safety-research; Occupations; Surveillance; Disease-incidence; Author Keywords: Occupational fatalities; CFOI; Vital statistics; OIICS; ICD
Suzanne M. Marsh, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Division of Safety Research, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS 1808, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
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Journal of Safety Research
Page last reviewed: April 1, 2022
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division