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J Safety Res. 2004;35(3):309-15.

Using state administrative data to study nonfatal worker injuries: challenges and opportunities.

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  • 1University of Maryland School of Nursing, 655 W. Lombard Street, Suite 475, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.



Administrative data from states have the potential to capture broader representation of worker injury, facilitating examination of trends, correlates, and patterns. While many states use their workers' compensation (WC) data to document frequency and type of injury, few conduct in-depth examinations of patterns of injury and other etiologies. Administrative data are generally an untapped resource.


Comparisons are made among four state databases used in a study linking worker injuries and patient outcomes in hospitals and nursing homes.


Worker injury data varies in terms of inclusion criteria, variables, and coding schemes used. Linkages to organizational level characteristics can be difficult.


Despite limitations, data can be used to study injury patterns and etiologies. Users must be knowledgeable and recognize how database characteristics may influence results.

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