236012 Lifetime risk of occupational injuries and illnesses among construction workers

Monday, October 31, 2011: 12:30 PM

Xiuwen Sue Dong, DrPH , CPWR-The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Laura Welch, MD , Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
John Dement, PhD, CIH , Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC
Knut Ringen, DrPH , Stoneturn Consultants, Seattle, WA
Background and Objective: Construction workers are at significant risk for a range of occupational injuries and illnesses. To describe the impact of occupational exposures on construction workers, we developed an estimate of the lifetime probability of a construction worker having a fatal or nonfatal occupational injury, and of developing a Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Noise Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL), or a lost time musculoskeletal disorder (MSD).

Methods: We used multiple years of data from the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI), the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII), Health and Retirement Study (HRS), two national medical surveillance programs for construction workers, and published research to estimate incidence and prevalence of these conditions at different ages and in different cohorts. Data from the Occupational Health Supplement to 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) will be included in the analyses.

Results: Using national data sources we estimate that a 60 year old construction worker today has a lifetime probability of approximately 0.60% for a fatal injury, 100%) for a lost time injury event, and about 35% for a lost time MSD, about 20% for any pneumoconiosis, 20% for COPD, and 50% for NIHL. We will present a range of estimates from the data sources described above.

Conclusion: All construction workers reaching age 60 today are likely to have one or more occupational diseases, at least one nonfatal injury, plus a risk of premature death before reaching that age. Enhanced construction surveillance and interventions could address this persistent risk.

Learning Areas:
Chronic disease management and prevention
Occupational health and safety

Learning Objectives:
Formulate a metric that fully measures the risk of occupational injuries and diseases that construction workers face over the lifespan.

Keywords: Construction Injuries, Occupational Disease

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the director of the Data Center at CPWR - the Center for Construction Research and Training. I have many years of experience in analysis of large data sets pertaining to construction workers
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.