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Exploratory narrative text analysis to characterize tasks associated with injuries among electric utility line workers: EPRI Occupational Health and Safety Database 1995-2013.

Authors
  • Vergara, Ximena1, 2
  • Bhatnagar, Megha2
  • Fordyce, Tiffani3
  • 1 Electric Power Research Institute, Energy and Environment Sector, Palo Alto, California, USA.
  • 2 Fielding School of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, USA.
  • 3 Exponent, Inc., Health Sciences, Menlo Park, California, USA.
Type
Published Article
Journal
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Publisher
Wiley (John Wiley & Sons)
Publication Date
Mar 01, 2021
Volume
64
Issue
3
Pages
198–207
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1002/ajim.23212
PMID: 33373058
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Injury prevention is an important goal for electric utility line workers who are among the top 10 U.S. occupational groups sustaining fatal injuries on the job. Using narrative text fields, we identified 10 high-risk tasks among electric utility line workers. We performed a case-control study of task-injury associations using data from the Electric Power Research Institute Occupational Health and Safety Database (1995-2013). Drawn from 12,323 line worker injuries, cases were individuals with a major injury (5 or more days lost work) matched to controls, individuals with a minor injury (less than 1 day lost work), on company and year of injury. Conditional logistic regression estimated adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CI). Some tasks associated with higher odds for major injuries among line workers included: climbing up/down ladder/stairs/elevator (OR = 4.3; 95% CI = 2.6, 7.4); climbing down poles and transmission towers (OR = 5.5; 95% CI = 3.6, 8.4); entering/stepping out/approaching utility trucks, bucket, or vaults (OR = 5.8; 95% CI = 4.0, 8.4); and performing repetitive work/overtime (OR = 5.5; 95% CI = 3.2, 9.5). Knowledge gained can be used to focus efforts and plan efficient preventive measures that reduce injury rates, time lost from work, and costs within the electric power industry. © 2020 Wiley Periodicals LLC.

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