Online Program

Economic consequences of workplace injuries in the United States: Findings from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 10:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m.

Xiuwen Sue Dong, DrPH, Data Center, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Xuanwen Wang, PhD, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Julie Largay, MPH, CPWR - The Center for Construction Research and Training, Silver Spring, MD
Rosemary Sokas, MD, MOH, MSc, Department of Human Science, School of Nursing and Health Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

Occupational injuries have negative effects on health as well as wealth. This study quantified the long-term economic consequences of workplace injuries by analyzing a large national longitudinal dataset.


Data were obtained from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1979 cohort. Employed respondents (n=8,033) were grouped by their workplace injury status between 1988 and 2000: lost workday injury, injury without lost workday, and no injury. Of these respondents, 1,294 worked in construction at least one year during this period. Workers’ compensation, lost wages, working less than full-time, and being laid-off or fired right after injury comprised short-term consequences; long-term consequences were measured by annual wage-and-salary, family net worth, and days of unemployment. Statistical tests and multivariate linear regressions were applied to test whether workplace injury had significant long-term economic effects on injured workers.


About 35.4% of construction workers experienced lost workday injuries in 1988-2000, nearly double the rate of 19.1% for non-construction workers. While injured construction workers were more likely to collect workers’ compensation, they were also more likely to lose wages, work less than full-time, and experience job lay-off than non-construction workers. Workers with lost workday injury were at a disadvantage compared to workers without injuries in all long-term consequence measures; after controlling for demographic and employment factors, these workers earned $7,467 less for annual wage-and-salary, and family net worth was $63,218 less an average of 15 years after the injury.


Workplace injuries bring short- and long-term economic burdens to injured workers and their families.

Learning Areas:

Occupational health and safety
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
Assess short- and long- term economic consequences of work-related injuries.

Keyword(s): Occupational Health and Safety

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: The presenter has conducted research on occupational safety and health for 20 years, and is the PI of this NIOSH-funded project.
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.