Thursday, October 13, 2005

For employed people, 38% of injuries occur at work

The National Safety Council, and others, have been pushing for diversion of occupational safety and health resources to off-the-job injury prevention programs.  BrooklynDodger concurs in part and dissents in part.

Dissent is, resources for occupational health and safety are meager, and people who work safety and health occupy organizational niches which won’t be filled if they look on something else. Second is, off the job initiatives launched on the job are virtually all low level of control, blame the victim exhortations.

Off the job injury deserves more emphasis in public health circles.  Problem is the higher level initiatives are even more politically contentious than OSHA.  To control fatal injuries, you are talking about controlling guns and cars.


Am J Public Health. 2005 Jul;95(7):1213-9.
 Injuries at work in the US adult population: contributions to the total injury burden.Smith GS, Wellman HM, Sorock GS, Warner M, Courtney TK, Pransky GS, Fingerhut LA.Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, MA 01748, USA. gordon. smith@libertymutual.comWe used the 1997-1999 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to estimate injury rates and proportions of work-related vs non-work-related injuries. An estimated 19.4 million medically treated injuries occurred annually to working-age adults (11.7 episodes per 100 persons; 29%, or 5.5 million 4.5 per 100 persons, occurred at work and varied by gender, age, and race/ethnicity. Among employed persons, 38% of injuries occurred at work, and among employed men aged 55-64 years, 49% of injuries occurred at work. Study estimates of days away from work after injury were 1.8 times higher than the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) workplace-based estimates and 1.4 times as high as BLS estimates for private industry.

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