Injuries to Volunteer Fire Fighters in West Virginia : Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

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Injuries to Volunteer Fire Fighters in West Virginia

Magnetti, Sandra M. DrPH; Wyant, William D. MSE; Greenwood, Judith PhD; Roder, Nancy J. MS; Linton, John C. PhD; Ducatman, Alan M. MD

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Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine 41(2):p 104-110, February 1999.


The distribution and characteristics of workplace injuries for West Virginia volunteer fire fighters (VFFs) are described using 1992 workers' compensation data. Most of the injuries occurred in VFFs who were less than 30 years of age (62%). The most common type of injuries were those in the category of lacerations and contusions (28.9%), with a notable percentage of injuries due to smoke inhalation and respiratory problems (13.7%). The proportional rates related to falls in VFFs were almost twice the national figures for the same year (39.3% versus 22.3%). County population density was found to be directly associated with injury rates, even when adjusted for number of responses. Claims statistics mirror a similar geographical trend in overall workers' compensation claims for all injuries in West Virginia. The results of this study provide a foundation for additional follow-up studies in order to develop improved occupational safety policies and target educational programs aimed at the prevention of injuries in volunteer fire fighters. Several findings have already resulted in programmatic recommendations.

© 1999 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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