Community Clusters of Traumatic Occupational Injuries
Traumatic occupational injuries cluster spatiall by home location of the affected wokers in a predictable way. In our study, we found that among 23,200 occpational injuries, 80% of cases were located in 20% of the State's residential ZIP codes. This puts an inequitable burden on communities and provides evidence for the possible value of community based interventions for prevention of occupational injuries especially among groups of workers that are difficult to access at the workplace.
Medical interpretation for immigrant workers.
Foreign-born workers have high rates of occupational mortality and morbidity, despite downward trends for the U.S. workforce overall. They have limited access to health care services. Medical interpreters (MIs) facilitate care of acutely injured, low-English-proficiency (LEP) patients, including those sustaining occupational injuries. We conducted a study to assess the potential for MIs to serve as advocates of LEP patients injured at work and to deliver preventive messages.
Community-based participatory research to reduce injuries among Hispanic construction workers.
Workplace mortality and severe injury are disproportionately distributed among foreign born and Hispanic construction workers. In this study we partnered with eight worker centers in seven cities to train worker leaders to deliver a modified OSHA 10-hr curriculum to their peers. Our research provided evidence for successful implementation of a training intervention for low wage, low literacy Hispanic construction workers using a community-based participatory research approach.
Ethnic Disparities and Workers' Compensation
The overall goal of this research project was to assess ethnic disparities in monetary compensation among construction workers injured on the job through the linkage of medical records and workers' compensation data. The analysis indicates that white non-Hispanic construction workers are awarded higher monetary settlements despite the observation that for specific injuries the mean temporary total disability and permanent partial disability were equivalent to or lower than those in Hispanic and black construction workers.
Reliability of the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment
AMA's Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment is used to rate loss of function and determine compensation and ability to work after injury or illness; however, there are few studies that evaluate reliability or construct validity. We conducted a study to evaluate the reliability of the fifth and sixth editions for back injury and to determine best methods for further study. The findings indicated that the sixth edition may not be an improvement over the fifth. A research agenda should include investigations of reliability and construct validity for different body sites and organ systems along the entire rating scale and among different categories of raters.
Additional Published Research
- Characterizing the relationship between in-hospital measures and workers' compensation outcomes among severely injured construction workers using a data linkage strategy. Full Article
- Preventing Eye Injuries among Citrus Harvesters: The Community Health Worker Model. Full Article
- Occupational amputations in Illinois 2000-2007: BLS vs. data linkage of trauma registry, hospital discharge, workers compensation databases and OSHA citations. Full Article
- Traumatic Occupational Injuries in Hispanic and Foreign Born Workers. Full Article
Other Recent Research Topics
- Injuries to bicycle messengers
- Injuries to law enforcement personnel
- Injuries and illnesses among automobile manufacturing workers in Illinois