Introduction A variety of biologics, vaccines, antibiotics, and hormones are used in animal agriculture. Accidental injections or product exposures can result in mild to severe injuries. Needlestick injury (NSI) prevention, research, and education for veterinarians and agriculture workers are limited. Our objective for this project was to collect and review data from swine production companies and determine the frequency and severity of needlestick injuries.
Methods An initial assessment of available data on hired workers was focused on 3 commercial swine companies (Company A, B, C). The National Pork Board provided key contacts and facilitated initial conversations with the companies. Several sources of data were available for characterising the burden of injury. These included reportable injuries identified on First Report of Injury and/or OSH 300 logs, worker compensation claims, and human resource records. Recorded data was de-identified and summarised by company. Analysis included a summary of medical, indemnity, and report only claims for needlestick injuries.
Results The number of medical claims for Company A, B, and C respectively were 101, 28, and 441. The number of indemnity claims was 41, 12, and 146 respectively. For Company A, 13 total needlesticks injuries were recorded (5 medical and 4 indemnity claims). 6 (46%) were injuries to the hand. Most (46%) injuries occurred in the nursery. For Company B, 3 total needlestick injuries were recorded (2 with indemnity claims). All involved the hand and 2 (67%) occurred in the farrowing area. For Company C, 89 needlestick injuries were recorded (74 with medical and 3 with indemnity claims. 56% of the needlestick injuries were to the hand and most injuries (25.5%) occurred in the farrowing area.
Discussion The recording of injuries varied by company making direct comparisons difficult. However, preliminary results provide a unique glimpse into type of injuries, associated costs, and potential intervention strategies.
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