Thursday, March 24, 2005

Don't Fall Down

BrooklynDodger returns to off-the-job injuries.

Occupational health people are pressured to generate an off-the-job injury program. To avoid pure blame-the-victim approaches, and to consider the hierarchy of controls, it would be valuable to know something about these off-the-job injuries. The Dodger notes that many “off-the-job” injuries are actually on-the-job injuries carried home and treated away from work. These on-job caused injuries may be off-job treated to hide them from punitive employer programs, or just because it’s more convenient and with more patient control to go outside.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) collects data on all types and external causes of nonfatal injuries and poisonings treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments (EDs). Approximately 31,000,000 persons were treated for nonfatal injuries in EDs in 2000. Most of the injuries were unintentional but an estimated 1,973,000 (6.4%) were violence-related.

[ICD-9-CM external cause-of-injury codes were not assigned. Safety folks should review these causes for utility in the occupational setting.]

During 2000, an estimated rate of 11,188 per 100,000 population were treated, over 10%. The nonfatal injury rate was approximately 40% higher for males than for females. Falls were the leading cause of unintentional nonfatal injuries, 24.4%. About 17% were transport related. Overexertion caused 10.5% of cases. These cause codes are somewhat informative about prevention of injury. Other causes, such as struck by, at 17.4%, were not informative.

CPSC maintains an open website somewhere for generating reports at

These queries could generate data on working age people, to inform off-the-job safety programs delivered on job. BrooklynDodger has not been very successful using this site. Others may be.


National Estimates of Nonfatal Injuries Treated in Hospital Emergency Departments --- United States, 2000

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