Costs differences across demographic groups and types of occupational injuries and illnesses

J Paul Leigh, Geetha Waehrer, Ted R. Miller, Stephen A Mccurdy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Little is known about cost differences for demographic groups or across occupational injuries and illnesses. Methods: In 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. Results: The 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 costs - farming, forestry, and fishing - had costs-per-worker ($5,163) over 18 times the lowest ranking occupation - executives 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. Conclusions: Costs comparisons can be drawn across age, race, gender, and occupational groups as well as categories of injuries and illnesses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)845-853
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Industrial Medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2006


  • Economics
  • Jobs
  • OSHA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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