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Injuries Among Construction Workers in Rural Iowa: Emergency Department Surveillance

Zwerling, Craig MD, PhD, MPH; Miller, Elizabeth Ruth PhD; Lynch, Charles F. MD, PhD; Torner, James PhD

Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine: July 1996 - Volume 38 - Issue 7 - p 698-704
Original Article

Surveillance of all emergency department admissions for nine rural hospitals identified visits for injuries by 189 employed patients with construction occupations out of a total of 1843 injury visits of all employed patients with known occupations. The injury rate for construction workers was 20.28 injuries per 100 workers per year-more than 2.5 times that of all other employed people. The work-related injury rate was 7.63 per 100 construction workers, more than four times that of all other employed people. The injuries of construction workers seen in the emergency department were primarily open wounds, fractures and dislocations, and contusions, injuries similar to those of other workers. The percentage of work-related burns was higher in construction workers than for other workers, particularly because of burns to roofers and laborers from tar or hot fluids and flash burns from welding.

From the Injury Prevention Research Center, The University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Address correspondence to: Craig Zwerling, MD, PhD, MPH, The University of Iowa, Injury Prevention Research Center, 100 Oakdale Campus, 124 AMRF, Iowa City, IA 52242-5000.

© Williams & Wilkins 1996. All Rights Reserved.