215006 2008 NH Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: Estimating workplace injuries ands workers' compensation claims using a first-time supplement

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

David L. Skinner, MA, MBA , Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts at Lowell, Lowell, MA
Susan Knight, MSPH , Department of Health and Human Services, State of New Hampshire, Concord, NH
Karla R. Armenti, ScD , New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Occupational Health Surveillance Program, Concord, NH
Background: NH wants precise knowledge of the incidence and characteristics of workplace injuries, and how any medical treatment was paid including by workers' compensation (WC). The objective of this study was to use a supplement to the NH Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) (n=6,892) to estimate annual injuries. Methods: Results were derived from a first-time supplement to the 2008 NH BRFSS, statistically designed as representative of NH residents. Results: Responses indicated that 4.9 percent (95% CI= 4.0, 5.7) of NH workers were injured in 2008. Of those likely eligible, 47.4 percent (95% CI= 36.6, 58.3) had some or all of treatment costs paid by WC. Those employed in construction and transportation had higher rates; lower rates, in finance and insurance. Risk in manufacturing and health-care was moderate. Associated injury attributes included male, younger age, less education, mid-range income, and higher BMI. Caution is advised in interpreting results when stratified by attributes, especially industrial type, because of large CIs. Conclusions: Results of this first-time, workplace-injury supplement give a more comprehensive estimate of the number and demographic characteristics of NH injuries. Variation in injury prevalence exists among industrial type. The number of injuries in any particular state likely is correlated with its industrial mix. However, there is indication that some similarities exist for treatment costs being paid in full or part by WC for about half of injuries. Evidence of validity exists for survey sampling design. Close correspondence to the actual number of WC claims in 2008 was found.

Learning Areas:
Biostatistics, economics
Occupational health and safety
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Learning objectives: 1) Demonstrate a statistically-valid estimate of incidence of NH workplace injuries; 2) Describe demographic characteristics and medical payment methods; and 3) Understand how NH workplace injuries differ, or are the same, as other states.

Keywords: Occupational Injury and Death, Occupational Surveillance

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience doing workplace epidemiological studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.