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Psychosocial 3
  1. K. L. Kucera1,
  2. H. J. Lipscomb1,
  3. W. Cameron2
  1. 1Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Duke University Medical Center
  2. 2Center to Protect Workers’ Rights
    AFL-CIO, Washington, DC

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    Construction workers have high rates of work-related back pain and injury and limited opportunity for light duty work. Using a case-control approach we identified factors associated with delayed return to work after a back injury.


    Union administrative records were used to identify a dynamic cohort of 20 642 union carpenters who worked in Washington State from 1989 to 2003. The Department of Labor and Industries provided records of workers’ compensation claims and associated medical care. Data were linked without personal identifiers. Work-related back claims (n = 4241) were identified by American National Standards Institute (ANSI) codes (back, trunk, or neck/back) or by International Classification of Disease (ICD-9) codes relevant to medical care for claims consistent with a back injury. Cases (n = 738) were defined as back injury claims with more than 90 days of paid lost time; controls (n = 699) resulted in return to work within 30 days. Logistic regression models estimated odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (OR, 95% CI) of delayed return to work.


    Thirty per cent of case claims and 8% of control claims were identified by an ICD-9 code (ANSI body code was missing or multiple injuries were sustained). Delayed return to work after back injury was associated with being female (2.3, 95% CI 1.1 to 4.7), age 30–44 (1.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 1.9) and age over 45 (2.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 2.8), 4 or more years union experience (1.6, 95% CI 1.3 to 2.0) and evidence of more acute trauma (struck against (1.8, 95% CI 0.7 to 4.4) or by an object or person (2.7, 95% CI 1.6 to 4.5), fall from elevation (2.3, 95% CI 1.6 to 3.3) or same level (1.8, 95% CI 1.2 to 2.8), and motor vehicle accident (MVA) (12.0, 95% CI 1.5 to 94.0)).


    Use of ICD-9 codes identified claims with multiple injuries …

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