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Michigan Work-related Amputations, 2008

Largo, Thomas W. MPH; Rosenman, Kenneth D. MD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: March 2013 - Volume 55 - Issue 3 - p 280–285
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0b013e31827945be
Original Articles

Background: Michigan's work-related amputation surveillance system quantifies and characterizes occupational amputations and facilitates remediation of workplace hazards.

Objective: To identify and mitigate the hazards that cause amputations, to facilitate workplace investigations, and, ultimately, to significantly reduce the incidence of serious injury.

Methods: Data were abstracted from medical records of patients treated for work-related amputations at Michigan hospitals in 2008 and linked to workers' compensation claims data. Incidents occurring at specific high-risk industries were referred to the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration for potential worksite inspection.

Results: A total of 616 Michigan residents sustained a work-related amputation (13.6/100,000 workers). Rates were highest for men, workers aged 20 to 24 years, and those in paper and wood product manufacturing. The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted 39 enforcement inspections in response to specific amputations.

Conclusions: The surveillance system identified more than twice the number of work-related amputations as estimated by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (N = 250) in 2008 and was the impetus for many worksite inspections that otherwise may not have occurred.

From the Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology (Mr Largo), Division of Environmental Health, Michigan Department of Community Health, Lansing, Mich; and Department of Medicine (Dr Rosenman), College of Human Medicine, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mich.

Address correspondence to: Thomas W. Largo, MPH, Bureau of Disease Control, Prevention, and Epidemiology, Michigan Department of Community Health, 201 Townsend, Lansing, MI 48913 (LargoT@michigan.gov).

This work was supported by US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (U60 OH008466).

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

©2013The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine