Objectives An amputation is one of the most serious injuries an employee can sustain and may result in lost time from work and permanent limitations that restrict future activity. A multidata source system has been shown to identify twice as many acute traumatic fatalities as one relying only on employer reporting. This study demonstrates the value of a multidata source approach for non-fatal occupational injuries.
Methods Data were abstracted from medical records of patients treated for work-related amputations at Michigan hospitals and emergency departments and were linked to workers’ compensation claims data. Safety inspections were conducted by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration for selected cases.
Results From 2006 through 2012, 4140 Michigan residents had a work-related amputation. In contrast, the Survey of Occupational Injury and Illness conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated that there were 1770 cases during this period. During the 7-year period, work-related amputation rates decreased by 26%. The work-related amputation rate for men was more than six times that for women. Industries with the highest work-related amputation rates were Wood Product Manufacturing and Paper Manufacturing. Power saws and presses were the leading causes of injury. One hundred and seventy-three safety inspections were conducted as a result of referrals from the system. These inspections identified 1566 violations and assessed $652 755 in penalties.
Conclusions The system was fairly simple to maintain, identified more than twice as many cases than either BLS or workers’ compensation alone, and was useful for initiating inspection of high-risk worksites.
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