Costs Differences Across Demographic Groups and Types of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses

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BackgroundLittle is known about cost differences for demographic groups or across occupational injuries and illnesses.MethodsIn this incidence study of nationwide data for 1993, an analysis was conducted on fatal and non-fatal injury and illness data recorded in government data sets. Costs data were from workers' compensation records, estimates of lost wages, and jury awards.ResultsThe youngest (age < 17) and oldest (age > 65) workers had exceptionally high fatality costs. Whereas men's costs for non-fatal incidents were nearly double those for women, men's costs for fatal injuries were 10 times the costs for women. The highest ranking occupation for combined fatal and non-fatal costsfarming, forestry, and fishinghad costs-per-worker ($5,163) over 18 times the lowest ranking occupationexecutives and managers ($279). The occupation of handlers, cleaners, and laborers, ranked highest for non-fatal costs. Gunshot wounds generated especially high fatal costs. Compared to whites, African-Americans had a lower percentage of costs due to carpal tunnel syndrome, circulatory, and digestive diseases.ConclusionsCosts comparisons can be drawn across age, race, gender, and occupational groups as well as categories of injuries and illnesses.

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