Characteristics of nonfatal occupational injuries among U.S. workers with and without disabilities

BACKGROUND: Workers with disabilities have a higher risk of nonfatal occupational injuries than workers without disabilities. The characteristics of these injuries are not well described.
METHODS: Using 1997-2011 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) data, we compared the nonfatal occupational injuries sustained by U.S. workers with and without disabilities.
RESULTS: Overexertion or strenuous movements and falls accounted for 56.7% of all occupational injuries in workers with disabilities, compared with 45.6% in workers without a disability. Workers with disabilities were more frequently injured in the lower extremity (32.3% vs. 26.6%) or torso (22.9% vs. 16.9%). Workers with disabilities sustained more unspecified injuries (13.5% vs. 7.9%) and fewer open wound injuries (15.7% vs. 24.2%) than their counterparts without a disability.
CONCLUSIONS: U.S. workers with disabilities had a higher rate of occupational injuries and these injuries tended to be more severe and were more likely to be caused by overexertion/ strenuous movement or falls.

Source: Shi J, Gardner S, Wheeler KK, Thompson MC, Lu B, Stallones L, Xiang H. Am. J. Ind. Med. 2015, 58 : p. 168-177.

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