Incidence and cost of injury in an industrial population

Shan P. Tsai, Edward J. Bernacki, Catherine M. Dowd

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using both occupational (workers’ compensation) and non-occupational (group health insurance) data, the nature and magnitude of injuries were determined in a working population of 20 705. Approximately one third of the population sustained an injury in 1986 (the year of study). Men experienced a significantly higher injury rate than women (33.3 per 100 v 24.9 per 100) and hourly employees had significantly higher incidence rates than salaried employees (42.0 per 100 v 22.5 per 100). The majority of nonoccupational injury claims were for low back disorders, whereas most occupational injury claims were related to superficial wounds and contusions. Overall, the incidence of nonoccupational injuries (21.1 per 100) was twofold higher than that of occupational injuries (10.8 per 100). Total costs for occupational and nonoccupational injuries were $4.97 million. The per-capita costs were $120 for both nonoccupational and occupational injuries. However, if only health care expenses are included in this calculation, nonoccupational injury costs would be almost 3 times as high as occupational injury costs ($120 v $46). These findings argue for increasing the share of corporate resources for off-the-job injury prevention programs aimed at reducing injury incidence and resultant health care costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-784
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Occupational Medicine
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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