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133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Janice Windau, MS, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2 Massachusetts Avenue, NE, Room 3180, Washington, DC 20212, (202) 691-6160, Windau_J@bls.gov
Background: Welders work in a variety of different manufacturing industries as well as in construction and repair facilities. Their fatal injury rates are typically more than twice the national average. This study reports on their fatal and nonfatal injuries in recent years. Methods: Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries and Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses were examined by occupation, industry, nature of injury, part of body, and event or exposure. Fatality data were also examined by worker activity and equipment involved to ascertain other occupations at risk of welding-related fatality. Results: Welders were most often fatally injured by fires and explosions, falls, being struck by objects, and electrocutions. Other occupations at risk of welding-related fatalities included scrap metal workers, mechanics and repairers, structural metal workers, laborers--and even farmers. Nonfatal injuries involving days away from work resulted from a variety of events and exposures including being struck by objects, lifting objects and performing other physical tasks, falls, exposure to welding light, and foreign matter in the eye. While eye injuries comprised three percent of injuries involving days away from work over all occupations, they made up 17 percent of the injuries to welders. Conclusions: Efforts to prevent injuries to welders should target fires and explosions, falls, exposures to welding light and foreign matter in the eye, and physical activities.
Keywords: Occupational Injury and Death,
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.
The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA