WORK RELATED INJURIES IN A LARGE MANUFACTURING COMPANY | 55650
Occupational Medicine & Health Affairs
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Background: Work related injuries in the United States have steadily declined over the past three decades despite an aging
workforce. This is attributable to a number of factors, including safer work programs (such as behavioral safety program,
safety committees, and an emphasis on ergonomics in the workplace) and a decline in the proportion of the workforce in
Objective: To determine the frequency and the age-adjusted frequency of back, knee and shoulder injuries in a manufacturing
setting over a 12-year period (2003-2015).
Method: 35,662 work related injury claim with greater than three days of missed work were analyzed. Descriptive analysis
methods were used to compare claim frequency by year.
Results: Age-adjusted number of back injuries decreased over a 12-year period (2.44/100 employees in 2003 compared to
0.56 /100 employees in 2015). Knee and shoulder injuries remained relatively constant over 12 year period. Knee injuries were
0.78/100 employees in 2003 compared to 0.42/100 employees in 2015. Shoulder injuries were 0.44/100 employees in 2003 and
0.42/100 employees in 2015.
Conclusion: Age-adjusted number of back injuries decreased over a 12-year period. This parallels the national U.S. trend of
decreased work related injuries, and is likely related to safer work environments. However, knee and shoulder injuries remained
constant over 12-year period while other conditions declined. This could be due to degenerative disease in an aging workforce.
Kalia completed her MD at University of South Florida and her MPH and MBA at the Johns Hopkins University. She is the Associate Director for the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine. She is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Johns Hopkins Department of Medicine (JHDOM) and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Health Services at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHBSPH).