Comparison of fatal and severe nonfatal traumatic work-related injuries in Washington State

Bruce H Alexander, Gary M. Franklin, Deborah Fulton-Kehoe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare fatal and hospitalized nonfatal work-related traumatic injuries by occupation and cause. Methods: Fatal and hospitalized nonfatal injuries occurring from 1991-1995 were identified from Washington State workers' compensation claims data. Non fatal injuries were classified as severe if they had at least one of the following criteria: a brain or spinal cord injury, an Injury Severity Score of ≥ 16, or were hospitalized for more than 7 days. The frequency and rate of fatal and severe nonfatal injuries were then described by industrial risk class and cause. Results: The study identified 335 fatal injuries and 4,405 hospitalized nonfatal injuries, of which 1,105 were classified as severe. Tree topping and pruning, carnival work, roofing, and metal siding and gutters risk classes had several severe nonfatal injuries, but few, if any, fatalities. Causes of fatal and severe nonfatal injuries were notably different for the roofing, restaurant, and orchard workers risk classes. Conclusions: The inclusion of severe hospitalized injuries in occupational injury surveillance systems will provide a broader view of high-risk occupations and profile of injury causation with which to direct occupational injury prevention efforts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-325
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1999


  • Fatalities
  • Injury severity score
  • Occupational accidents
  • Surveillance
  • Workers' compensation


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