Benchmark data were sought for evaluating injury trends within Australian firefighters.
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.
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.
These observations provide a basis for intervention strategies that target sprains and strains associated with materials handling and slips, trips, and falls.