Epidemiology of work-related injuries requiring hospitalization among sawmill workers in British Columbia, 1989–1997
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This study describes hospitalized injuries among workers in British Columbia lumber industry. Between April 1989 and December 1997, from the hospital records of 5,745 male sawmill workers were analyzed for the present study. Work relatedness was determined using either ICD-9 external cause of injury codes, which have a digit-indicating place of occurrence, or a payment field, which can identify workers compensation agency. Poisson regression models were used to analyze differences in hospitalization rates across race, job category, age group, and calendar year. The crude and adjusted rate ratios were calculated along with the 95% confidence intervals (CIs). During the follow-up period, there were 164 work related hospitalization resulting in a rate for work-related hospitalization of 5.38 per 1,000 person years. The higher rates by nature of injury were for dislocation, sprains & strains, open wounds, and fracture of upper limbs. During the study period, the higher rates of injury by causes were machinery related, falls, and struck against. In the multivariate models, there were no statistically significant relationship of injury risk with age and race. In respect to occupation, compared to foremen/supervisor, other sawmills' workers did not have significantly elevated risk of injury. The trend analyses found a significant negative trend (P = 0.004) of injury risk over the whole study period. Knowing the causes and nature of injury and their related risk factors are helpful to employers, compensation officials, and other stakeholders to target preventive measures.
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