Use of employer administrative databases to identify systematic causes of injury in aluminum manufacturing

Keshia M. Pollack, Jacqueline Agnew, Martin D. Slade, Linda Cantley, Oyebode Taiwo, Sally Vegso, Kanta Sircar, Mark R. Cullen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Employer administrative files are an underutilized source of data in epidemiologic studies of occupational injuries. Methods: Personnel files, occupational health surveillance data, industrial hygiene data, and a real-time incident and injury management system from a large multi-site aluminum manufacturer were linked deterministically. An ecological-level measure of physical job demand was also linked. This method successfully created a database containing over 100 variables for 9,101 hourly employees from eight geographically dispersed U. S. plants. Results: Between 2002 and 2004, there were 3,563 traumatic injuries to 2,495 employees. The most common injuries were sprain/strains (32%), contusions (24%), and lacerations (14%). A multivariable logistic regression model revealed that physical job demand was the strongest predictor of injury risk, in a dose dependent fashion. Other strong predictors of injury included female gender, young age, short company tenure and short time on current job. Conclusions: Employer administrative files are a useful source of data, as they permit the exploration of risk factors and potential confounders that are not included in many population-based surveys. The ability to link employer administrative files with injury surveillance data is a valuable analysis strategy for comprehensively studying workplace injuries, identifying salient risk factors, and targeting workforce populations disproportionately affected.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-686
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Volume50
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2007

Keywords

  • Administrative databases
  • Data linkage
  • Manufacturing sector
  • Occupational injury epidemiology
  • Workplace safety

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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