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A Retrospective Evaluation of Injuries to Australian Urban Firefighters (2003 to 2012): Injury Types, Locations, and Causal Mechanisms.

Taylor, Nigel A. S. PhD; Dodd, Megan J. BSc; Taylor, Elizabeth A. MEd; Donohoe, Alison M. BSc
Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: Post Author Corrections: June 11, 2015
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000438
Original Article: PDF Only

Objective: Benchmark data were sought for evaluating injury trends within Australian firefighters.

Methods: Work-related injury data from Australia's largest urban fire and rescue organization were analyzed (2003 to 2012), with an emphasis on classification (occurrence, mechanism, agency, nature, and location) and demographic details.

Results: Firefighters were injured on 6997 occasions (177 injuries per annum per 1000 full-time employees). The largest causal mechanism was muscular stress (74 injuries per 1000 full-time employees annually), with 62.1% of those incidents involving materials handling and slips, trips, and falls. No single mechanism could explain more than 20% of the injuries. The principal injury type involved sprains and strains. The most commonly injured sites were the knee, lower back, shoulder, and ankle.

Conclusions: These observations provide a basis for intervention strategies that target sprains and strains associated with materials handling and slips, trips, and falls.

Copyright (C) 2015 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine