Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies PPOP

What are our priorities?

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies works with partners in the insurance industry, health care providers, labor, employers, trade associations, professional organizations, and academia. The program focuses on these areas:

  • Expanding use of state-level workers’ compensation claims data for research and prevention.
  • Identifying and communicating interventions most effective at preventing illness and injury.
  • Encouraging collaborations between the public health and workers’ compensation communities.
What do we do?
  • Build the capacity of states to use workers’ compensation claims data for prevention purposes through grants, partnerships, and technical assistance.
  • Evaluate approaches to preventing illness and injury by working with insurers. These approaches include insurer sponsored engineering control grant programs, consulting services, and training.
  • Distribute information on the most effective prevention approaches to insurers, state workers’ compensation bureaus, and state
    departments of health. This primarily includes interventions to prevent injuries, but it also includes best practices for treatment of illness and injury, and issues related to return-to-work.
  • Host webinars and meetings to encourage communication between the workers’ compensation industry and public health partners.
What have we accomplished?


Health Services

  • Sponsored a study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute that examined the impact of opioid dispensing on worker outcomes.
  • Supported a pilot study to understand return-to-work practices associated with workers’ compensation opioid prescriptions.
  • Developed a reference database of opioids related workers’ compensation claims studies.

Risk Assessment and Control

  • Co-authored an American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) article on the need for industrial hygiene data standardizationexternal icon.
  • Co-authored a study to evaluate the effectiveness of a material handling intervention program in Ohio.
  • Contributed to the International Ergonomics Association intervention databaseexternal icon.
What’s next?
  • Complete claims analyses for multi-industry cost and detailed causation, select diagnoses, and specific high-risk industries.
  • Expand outreach to state workers’ compensation bureaus and departments of health to share best practices for data linkage, auto-coding, and data dashboards.
  • Conduct health services research studies with partners (Ohio and WY Miners Hospital) to examine the impact of occupation, industry, and treatment types on disability and opioid use.
  • Conduct a study to identify characteristics that are associated with drug and alcohol use disorders among adult and adolescent workers.
  • Conduct a study to understand barriers and aids to implementing interventions in the construction industry.
  • Partner with the International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions to develop a new claims dashboard from 15 states.
  • Collaborate with the AIHA on the usage and standardization of industrial hygiene data.

Mention of any company or product does not constitute endorsement by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


The Center for Workers’ Compensation Studies uses workers’ compensation data and systems to improve workplace safety and health. This snapshot shows recent accomplishments and upcoming work.

Temporary- vs. Permanent-Employed Worker Injury Rates per 10,000 Workers in Ohio 2001-2013
Temporary- vs. Permanent-Employed Worker Injury Rates

Source: Al-Tarawneh et al. Am J Ind Med. 2020 Jan;63(1):3-22.

Main Injury Claim Cause Counts among Private Employers in Ohio 2012-2015
Main Injury Claim Cause Counts among Private Employers in Ohio

Source: NIOSH-Ohio BWC Private Industry Claims Dashboard Meyers et al. J Occup Environ Med. 2018 Jan;60(1):55-73..

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April 2021

Page last reviewed: April 12, 2021