This study explores the utilization of Hospital Discharge (HD) data to obtain estimates of work-related non-fatal injuries rates in NJ to determine if Hispanics workers have an increased risk of specific work-related injuries. In addition, HD data are used to compare the rate ratios between fatal and non-fatal injuries in this population to demonstrate the effectiveness of using HD as a surveillance tool for monitoring injury trends and performing evaluations.
Several types of fatal and non-fatal injuries were modeled using Poisson regression with the following predictor variables: gender, ethnicity, and year. The estimated number of workers by ethnicity employed in NJ each year was obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, DataFerrett, Current Population Survey, November 2006, a data mining tool which accesses CPS data.
These analyses, utilizing estimates of working population at-risk, indicate that Hispanic workers have an increased risk of four particular work-related injuries compared with non-Hispanics, and Hispanics were injured at a younger age than non-Hispanics. In addition the rankings of the rate ratios from the comparison between non-fatal and fatal risk estimates were similar; indicating that occupational surveillance of non-fatal injuries is a viable component to be considered.
HD data are effective for monitoring trends over time across ethnic groups and injury types. Therefore, non-fatal injury surveillance should be considered for targeting specific worker populations for interventions to reduce exposure to workplace hazards, and can be a valuable surveillance tool in efforts to reduce occupational injuries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:146–152 2010. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.