Using emergency department surveillance data to assess occupational injury and illness reporting by workers

Source: Suzanne M. Marsh, Audrey A. Reichard, Ruchi Bhandari and Theresa R. Tonozzi, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 59 Issue 8, August 2016
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From the abstract:
Objective: Researchers from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) share detailed methodologies from conducting two follow-back studies initiated in 2010 that were designed to assess whether workers reported their injuries and illnesses to their employers and to identify worker incentives and disincentives for reporting work-related injuries to employers.

Methodology: Study respondents were sampled from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System occupational supplement (NEISS-Work), an emergency department-based surveillance system. Telephone interviews were used to collect information directly from workers.

Outcomes: Among persons treated in emergency departments who could be identified as working at the time of injury or illness, most reported their injury or illness to their employer. Our studies did not assess if these reported injuries and illnesses were recorded on the Occupational Safety and Health logs.

Discussion: Our approach suggests that emergency department-based surveillance data are limited in their utility to investigate underreporting among workers.

Related:
Characterizing emergency department patients who reported work-related injuries and illnesses
Source: Ruchi Bhandari, Suzanne M. Marsh, Audrey A. Reichard and Theresa R. Tonozzi, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 59 Issue 8, August 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Per a Congressional directive and funding, this study describes worker and workplace characteristics of emergency department (ED) patients who reported their injury/illness to their employer. The study also responds to Congress’s request to enumerate injured/ill self-employed workers and workers with chronic conditions.

Methods: We conducted a follow-back study on injured/ill workers, including self-employed, identified from a national ED surveillance system from June 2012 through December 2013.

Results: An estimated 3,357,000 (95%CI: 2,516,000–4,199,000) workers treated in EDs reported their injury/illness to their employer or were self-employed. Of those, 202,000 (95%CI: 133,000–272,000) had a chronic condition. Of all reporters, excluding self-employed, 77% indicated they received instructions as to whom to report.

Conclusion: The study did not identify underreporting issues and revealed that medical records data may not be appropriate for assessing underreporting. Additional research is needed to examine workplace characteristics that encourage injury and illness reporting.

Reported work-related injuries and illnesses among Hispanic workers: Results from an emergency department surveillance system follow-back survey
Source: Theresa R. Tonozzi, Suzanne M. Marsh, Audrey A. Reichard and Ruchi Bhandari, American Journal of Industrial Medicine, Vol. 59 Issue 8, August 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Background: Research suggests Hispanic workers underreport injuries/illnesses to their employer.

Methods: The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System—occupational supplement was used to conduct a follow-back study of workers treated in emergency departments (EDs) from June 2012 through December 2013.

Results: An estimated 448,000 (95%CI 230,000–665,000) Hispanic workers treated in EDs for a work-related injury or illness were represented by 362 completed interviews. Of these, an estimated 443,000 (95%CI 228,000–657,000) workers reported the injury or illness to their employer or were self-employed. The majority had not heard of workers’ compensation. Only 10% expected workers’ compensation to cover their medical payment while 62% expected payment to be covered by their employer.

Conclusion: We characterized our respondent workforce who reported their injury or illness. We determined that NEISS-Work data are not the most appropriate source to capture underreporting of work-related injuries and illnesses to employers among Hispanic workers.