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Work-related fatal injuries in older California workers, 1979–1985

Journal of Occupational Accidents
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/0376-6349(90)90108-8
  • Agricultural Science
  • Communication


Abstract Accurate information on those injured while at work depends on the quality of the reporting mechanisms in place. There is ample evidence that such reporting mechanisms in the United States are flawed, and injuries to some segments of the work force may be grossly underenumerated. This research reports on a new system to identify, more accurately, work-related fatal injuries with particular reference to those past normal retirement age. The system relies on the death certificate and involves a computer search of data fields possibly indicative of a work association. In addition, the actual certificate is examined, and when necessary, the coroner's record is obtained to clarify the work-related connection. From 1979 through 1985, 195 deaths were confirmed as work-related, all but ten among working males. The rate in males was ten times higher than for females. Homicide was the most frequent external cause of death. Rates were highest in mining, agriculture, transportation, communication and utilities, and business services, cooks, bartenders, farmers, drivers, and security guards. Forty-six percent of the deaths occurred among self-employed persons.

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