Evaluation of the Burden of Logging Injuries Using West Virginia Workers' Compensation Claims Data From 1996 to 2001


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Abstract

BackgroundThe risks associated with logging are well documented, however little work has been done on estimating the economic impact of injuries among loggers.MethodsWest Virginia Workers' Compensation claims data for the period 1996—2001 was used to assess the economic burden of logging injuries in the state.ResultsThere were 1,371 claimants during this period with the highest number of claims (39%) in the 25—34 years age category. The total cost of injuries was over $14 million. The most severe injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), thoracic, cervical, and lumbar, resulted in the highest medical costs, indemnity costs and permanent disability. The average medical cost for logging-related to TBI was $198,048 compared to $15,321 for other major industries.ConclusionsThe magnitude of the economic costs underscores the need for active research of injury prevention among loggers and for greater attention to occupational safety and health programs. Am. J. Ind. Med. 49:1039-1045, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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