Data processing and case identification in an agricultural and logging morbidity surveillance study: Trends over time

Am J Ind Med. 2017 Sep;60(9):811-820. doi: 10.1002/ajim.22751.


Background: Agriculture and logging are dangerous industries, and though data on fatal injury exists, less is known about non-fatal injury. Establishing a non-fatal injury surveillance system is a top priority. Pre-hospital care reports and hospitalization data were explored as a low-cost option for ongoing surveillance of occupational injury.

Methods: Using pre-hospital care report free-text and location codes, along with hospital ICD-9-CM external cause of injury codes, we created a surveillance system that tracked farm and logging injuries.

Results: In Maine and New Hampshire, 1585 injury events were identified (2008-2010). The incidence of injuries was 12.4/1000 for agricultural workers, compared to 10.4/1000 to 12.2/1000 for logging workers.

Conclusions: These estimates are consistent with other recent estimates. This system is limited to traumatic injury for which medical treatment is administered, and is limited by the accuracy of coding and spelling. This system has the potential to be both sustainable and low cost.

Keywords: Maine; New Hampshire; agriculture; logging; low-cost; passive surveillance.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Agriculture / statistics & numerical data*
  • Forestry / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitals / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Maine / epidemiology
  • New Hampshire / epidemiology
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Population Surveillance / methods*