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Am J Ind Med. 2010 Jun;53(6):570-80. doi: 10.1002/ajim.20829.

Nonfatal construction industry-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States, 1998-2005.

Author information

1
Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. ashley.schoenfisch@duke.edu <ashley.schoenfisch@duke.edu>

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

This study documented the burden of nonfatal construction industry work-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States (US) from 1998 through 2005 and described injured worker demographics and injury characteristics.

METHODS:

Data from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System work-related injury supplement (NEISS-Work) were used to identify and describe construction industry-related injuries. Rates were estimated using data from the Current Population Survey.

RESULTS:

An estimated 3,216,800 (95% CI 2,241,400-4,192,200) construction industry-related injuries were seen in US emergency departments during the 8-year period; this represented an injury rate of 410/10,000 full-time equivalents and suggests that there are a greater number of construction injuries than reported through the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (BLS SOII). Common characteristics included diagnoses of laceration, sprain/strain, and contusion/abrasion; events of contact with an object/equipment, bodily reaction/exertion, and falls; and sources of injury of parts/materials; structures/surfaces; and tools/instruments/equipment. The upper extremities were most often affected.

CONCLUSIONS:

These data highlight the high burden of nonfatal construction industry-related injuries. The limitations of national occupational injury data sources inherent in relying on OSHA logs highlight the utility of NEISS-Work data in occupational injury research. While data captured from emergency departments are not immune to factors that influence whether a worker or an employer reports an injury as work-related or files a workers' compensation claim, emergency department data as collected through NEISS-Work do not rely on employer involvement in order to be classified as work-related.

PMID:
20506460
DOI:
10.1002/ajim.20829
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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