Declining trends in work-related morbidity and disability, 1993-1998: a comparison of survey estimates and compensation insurance claims

Am J Public Health. 2003 Aug;93(8):1283-6. doi: 10.2105/ajph.93.8.1283.


Objectives: This study compared trends in the incidence of work-related morbidity and disability across 3 sources of surveillance data in a Canadian province.

Methods: Time series estimates of workplace injuries and work-related disability based on 2 panel surveys in the province of Ontario, Canada, for the period 1993-1998 were compared with rates of work-related injury and illness compensation claims during the same period.

Results: Lost-time compensation claims declined by 28.8% over this 6-year period. The incidence of self-reported work-related injury declined by 28.2%, and the self-reported incidence of work absence for work-related causes declined by 32.2%.

Conclusions: Parallel reductions in work-related morbidity were seen in 3 independent data sources. These results support an interpretation that there has been an important reduction in injury risk in Ontario workplaces over the past decade.

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Accidents, Occupational / economics
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Insurance Claim Reporting / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity / trends
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / economics
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / epidemiology
  • Occupational Diseases / economics
  • Occupational Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Ontario / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Disclosure
  • Time
  • Workers' Compensation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Wounds and Injuries / economics
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*