The primary objective of this study is to utilize the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation (OBWC) claim and policy data systems for surveillance and prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses, fatalities, and exposures to occupational hazards. The study will develop rates of Workers' Compensation (WC) claims of injury per full time equivalents (FTE) by employer size and industry sector according to the North American Industry Classification System. Data from the OBWC claim of injury and policy systems will be linked/joined with unemployment insurance (UI) data collected through the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW) program. The UI data will be adjusted with hours per industry data from the BLS Labor Productivity and Costs program. Considering that OBWC is the eighth largest underwriter of WC in the US, the resulting dataset will be utilized to study: 1) Injury trends in various industry sectors, sub-sectors and specific tpe of work operations that are common among various sectors; 2) Trends of musculoskeletal injuries such as back, neck, knee, and shoulder injuries and their causations such as overexertion and slips, trips and falls; 3) Injury trends in specific types of occupations and populations of workers; 4) Injury causations and costs associated with severe and fatal injuries such as traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and fatalities in various industrial sectors and subsectors; 5) Occupational disease claims of injury and fatalities in specific industries and specific populations of workers such as firefighting operations and firefighters; and 6) Specific injury trends among specific populations of injured workers such as musculoskeletal disorders among older workers and traumatic types of injuries among younger workers. Considering the size of the dataset and diversity of industry sectors in Ohio, results from this study will not onl be beneficial to Ohio but also to the rest of the nation. Through its various safety programs and services, on an annual basis, OBWC is actively engaged with more than 21,000 employers. These safety services and programs include safety education and training, sponsorship of 83 safety councils throughout Ohio, an annual safety and health conference with over 6,000 participants, a drug-free safety program, an industry-specific safety program, wellness grants program, and a vibrant grants program to assist employers in implementing engineering controls to abate workplace hazards. OBWC will capitalize on these programs and services along with dedicated web-pages and publications in peer-reviewed journals and trade magazines to disseminate the results from this study to employers and workers.
Workers' compensation claim of injury data is very rich with information that can significantly improve our understanding of the nature, extent, and causation of occupational injuries and illnesses. Results from this study will not only improve our understanding of these injuries but will also allow for improving the quantification of the significant direct (medical an indemnity) costs associated with these injuries. Additionally, results from this study will advance the utilization of prevention resources by improving existing and designing new safety programs for the prevention of occupational accidents, injuries, and illnesses in the workplace and among specific populations of workers.