Examination of the accident records from the telecommunication industry covering some 100 000 engineers over a 12-month period showed that 25% of accidents resulting in more than three days' sick leave gave rise to back injuries. Handling accidents and falls accounted for 65% of three-day-plus accidents; handling accidents alone gave rise to 65% of back injuries. The absolute numbers of accidents have been compared with the total population of engineers to estimate the effects of age or occupation on levels of hazard; certain occupations constituting 33% of the engineers' population suffered 70% of all three-day-plus accidents. Accidents occurred most frequently in the group aged from 31 to 48 years. Other significant factors affecting the occurrence of accidents were time of year and duty experience of the workers.
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