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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.

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Department of Community and Family Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina 27710, USA. <>



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.


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.


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.


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.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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