Background: Detailed information about factors contributing to construction injury is important to support design of safety programs directed at particular risks.
Methods: We linked over 4,000 injury reports, including text describing injury events, with an administrative workers' compensation (WC) database, and, using Haddon's matrix as a framework, classified factors contributing to injury during construction of Denver International Airport (DIA).
Results: Patterns of contributing factors varied according to injury mechanism and type of work: environmental factors contributed more than any other factor to slip/trip injuries, and building materials contributed to more than 40% of injuries to workers in carpentry, concrete construction, glass installation, and roofing. Rates at which factors contributed to injury also varied among types of work: environmental factors contributed at relatively high rates to injuries in glass installation, metal/steel installation and iron/steel erection >or= 2 stories, and victim factors contributed at high rates to conduit construction and metal/steel installation injuries. WC payment rates for different factors varied widely, ranging from $0.53/$100 payroll to $3.08/$100.
Discussion: This approach allows systematic analysis of classes of injuries, contributing factors, types of work, and other variables to assist in setting prevention priorities.
Copyright (c) 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.