219712 Characterizing University Student Employee Injuries

Monday, November 8, 2010

Steven Thygerson, PhD, MSPH, CIH , Department of Health Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT
Background: Although occupational injuries can be costly to employers, frequencies and rates of injury in university student employees are not well documented. This presentation identifies university departments with the most frequent injuries, the most frequent cause of injury, and costs associated with injuries in the university student employee population.

Method: 2005- 2008 workers compensation (WC) records and OSHA injury claims were analyzed to characterize injuries at a university with a large population of student employees. OSHA incidence rates were calculated using the 2008 OSHA claim records.

Results: The 2008 university student employee injury rate was higher than the national average (4.9 per 100 FTE versus 4.2 per 100 FTE). In general, males filed more WC claims than females. Departments with the highest number of claims filed per year include Building Maintenance, Dining Services, and Grounds Maintenance. Claims filed during summer months almost doubled, despite a smaller student employee pool. Average costs of claims requiring payment were $194.46 in 2005; $199.61 in 2006; $183.21 in 2007; and $188.33 in 2008. The highest cost for an employee injury was $140,414.66.

Conclusion: Measures must be taken to reduce the university student employee injury rate and reduce cost to the institution. Special precautions should be taken to reduce injuries during the summer months.

Learning Objectives:
Identify university departments with the most frequent injuries, the most frequent cause of injury in student employees, and costs associated with injuries in university student employees.

Keywords: Occupational Health, Injury Prevention

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have experience working in occupational health and safety, and teach and research the same topics at a major private university.
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.