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Disabling and Fatal Occupational Claim Rates, Risks, and Costs in the Oregon Construction Industry 1990-1997

Irwin B. Horwitz () and Brian McCall

Working Papers from Human Resources and Labor Studies, University of Minnesota (Twin Cities Campus)

Abstract: Occupational research has demonstrated construction to be among the most dangerous of all occupational industries. This study examines 20,680 accepted workers' compensation claims filed by Oregon construction workers over the period of 1990-1997. Injury rate estimates for occupations were calculated using Oregon employment data from the Current Population Survey. The estimated annual rate of lost-time claims was 3.5 per 100 workers annually (95% CI=2.8-4.2) with insulators having the highest rate and supervisors the lowest. The majority of claims, 3,940, were filed by laborers. Over 52% of all claims were filed by workers under 35 years of age, and over half the claimants had less than 1 year of tenure at the time of injury. There were 52 fatalities reported, representing a rate of 8.5 per 100,000 workers (95% CI = 8.1-8.9), of which 32.7% resulted from falls. The most frequently recorded nature of non-fatal injury was listed as a "sprain," and the most common body part injured was the back. The total costs of all claims was $208,537,120, averaging $10,084 per claim, and the average indemnity time per injury was 57.3 days, with female claimants having longer indemnity periods than males. The highest percentage of claims by weekday occurred on Mondays (21.5%), and subsequent analysis showed the highest odds ratio for time of accident, relative to the first hour on the job, occurred on the third hour of work (OR = 2.456, 95% CI = 2.452-2.460.

Keywords: Construction; Workers' Compensation; Occupational Safety; Fatalities; Injuries; Musculoskeletal Disorders; Surveillance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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