A comparison of work-related injury visits and other injury visits to emergency departments in the United States, 1995-1996

J Occup Environ Med. 1998 Oct;40(10):870-5. doi: 10.1097/00043764-199810000-00006.


Estimates of nonfatal work-related injuries range from 6 to 13 million annually, and the most serious of these injuries are presented to hospital emergency departments (EDs). To describe work-related injury ED visits in the United States, we examined data from the 1995-1996 National Hospital Ambulatory Medical Care Survey, which is a national probability sample survey of visits to EDs of non-federal, short-stay, and general hospitals. In 1995-1996, an annual average of 4 million work-related injury ED visits were made by persons 16 years of age and over. The average annual rate of work-related injury visits was 3.5 per 100 workers, and the rate of nonwork-related injury visits was 11.2 per 100 persons. Persons 16-19 years of age had a higher work-related injury visit rate (6.9 per 100 full-time equivalents [FTEs]) than did those 20 years of age and over (3.4 per 100 FTEs). Males had higher work-related injury visit rates (4.3 per 100 FTEs) than females (2.4 per 100 FTEs). The leading cause of injury and diagnosis for work-related injury ED visits were "cuts" (16%) and "open wound" (22%), respectively. Determining appropriate preventive action will reduce the number of workers injured and may result in financial savings for industries and health care systems.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Emergency Service, Hospital / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Preventive Medicine
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology*