3262.1: Monday, November 13, 2000 - 9:35 PM

Abstract #4669

Making sense of the new Bureau of Labor Statistics data

Theodore K. Courtney, MS, CSP and Barbara S. Webster, BSPT, PA-C. Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health, 71 Frankland Road, Hopkinton, MA 01507, (508) 435-9061, theodore.courtney@libertymutual.com

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS) annual survey of occupational injuries and illnesses (ASOII) is one of the most frequently utilized sources of data on national occupational morbidity. In 1992 the BLS introduced a new and expanded survey method that collects more detailed data on cases with days-away-from-work (DAW). While the method provides detail on the body part, nature, extent and certain antecedents of these cases, the published data are most often presented univariately. This makes it difficult to assess the extent of many common injuries. Expanded access to the ASOII data is now available on the world-wide web. However, finding the right data for a particular comparison, appropriately applying it, and understanding the limitations of the data are significant issues confronting the user. These issues are often compounded by misinterpretation of the published data in the trade and popular press. This presentation will discuss issues of access to and application of the BLS data for the public health professional. BLS-certified, unpublished ASOII data from 1994 and 1996 will be used to illustrate approaches and solutions. The data demonstrate that while musculoskeletal problems, especially back pain, are the most frequent type of disabling case, the injuries associated with the longest median disability absences from work are acute traumatic injuries of instantaneous or sudden onset.

Learning Objectives: Following the session, participants should be able to initiate their own investigations using these important data available on the internet and properly interpret and verify those data presented in BLS publications and the media

Keywords: Occupational Injury and Death, Disability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA