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Injuries and Illnesses From Wood Framing in Residential Construction, Washington State, 1993–1999

Shah, Syed Mahboob Ali MD, PhD; Bonauto, David MD, MPH; Silverstein, Barbara PhD, MPH, CPE; Foley, Michael PhC; Kalat, John BA

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: November 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 11 - p 1171-1182
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000091681.23987.53

The construction industry is associated with high rates of work-related injury. We used workers compensation data to describe the injuries and illnesses, claim rates, and claim costs associated with wood framing activities in construction. From 1993 to 1999, there were 33,021 accepted state fund workers compensation claims with direct costs of over $197 million. The average annual claim rate was 45 per 100 full-time equivalent. Statistically significant downward trends were noted in claim rates for all injuries and illnesses, compensable time loss claims, eye and fall injuries. However, these trends were not statistically significantly different from those observed in all other construction risk classes combined. The information in this report can be used to guide prevention efforts and to evaluate the effectiveness of Washington state initiatives to reduce injury and illness rates in wood frame construction.

From the Safety and Health Assessment & Research for Prevention (SHARP), Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Olympia, Washington.

Address correspondence to: Dr Syed M. Shah, Washington State Department of Labor and Industries, Box 44330, Olympia, WA 98504; E-mail address:

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine