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Work-related injuries in a state trauma registry: relationship between industry and drug screening.

Bunn TL; Slavova S; Bernard AC
J Trauma Acute Care Surg 2014 Aug; 77(2):280-285
BACKGROUND: Work-related injuries exert a great financial and economic burden on the US population. The study objectives were to identify the industries and occupations associated with worker injuries and to determine the predictors for injured worker drug screening in trauma centers. METHODS: Work-related injury cases were selected using three criteria (expected payer source of workers' compensation, industry-related e-codes, and work-related indicator) from the Kentucky Trauma Registry data set for years 2008 to 2012. Descriptive analyses and multiple logistic regression were performed on the work-related injury cases. RESULTS: The ''other services'' and construction industry sectors accounted for the highest number of work-related cases. Drugs were detected in 55% of all drug-screened work-related trauma cases. Higher percentages of injured workers tested positive for drugs in the natural resources and mining, transportation and public utilities, and construction industries. In comparison, higher percentages of injured workers in the other services as well as transportation and public utilities industries were drug screened. Treatment at Level I trauma centers and Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores indicating a coma or severe brain injury were both significant independent predictors for being screened for drugs; industry was not a significant predictor for being drug screened. The injured worker was more likely to be drug screened if the worker had a greater than mild injury, regardless of whether the worker was an interfacility transfer. CONCLUSION: These findings indicate that there may be elevated drug use or abuse in natural resources and mining, transportation and public utilities, as well as construction industry workers; improved identification of the specific drug types in positive drug screen results of injured workers is needed to better target prevention efforts.
Injuries; Drugs; Traumatic-injuries; Construction-industry; Mining-industry; Transportation-industry; Public-utilities; Brain-damage; Brain-function; Drug-abuse; Author Keywords: Work-related injury; drugs; industry
Terry L. Bunn, PhD, Kentucky Injury Prevention and Research Center, 333Waller Ave, Suite 242, Lexington, KY 40504
Publication Date
Document Type
Journal Article
Email Address
Funding Type
Cooperative Agreement
Fiscal Year
Identifying No.
Cooperative-Agreement-Number-U60-OH-008483; M092014
Issue of Publication
Source Name
The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery
Performing Organization
University of Kentucky
Page last reviewed: April 9, 2021
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division