State programs Injury prevention

Washington state SHARP program publishes report on work-related hospitalizations

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Olympia, WA — The Washington state Safety & Health Assessment & Research for Prevention Program has released the second in a series of reports on work-related immediate inpatient hospitalizations in the state.

SHARP, a Washington State Department of Labor & Industries research program, linked the state’s Comprehensive Hospital Abstract Reporting System to workers’ compensation records to identify “immediate inpatient hospitalizations,” defined as those occurring within one day of an occupational injury or illness.

This year’s report, published in July, examined 2015 data; the initial report covered 2014. Many of the findings from the 2014 report remained unchanged in 2015.

The most recent data showed 762 immediate work-related hospital visits, an increase from 668 in 2014. For the second year, around 80 percent of those patients were male and about half were at least 45 years old.

Once again, just more than half of the injuries were fractures and “fractures and other injuries.” The most common type of injury was falls from elevation, which accounted for 22 percent of immediate hospitalizations both years.

Falls from elevation and on the same level led to more than 35 percent of immediate hospitalizations in 2015. For the second straight year, the industry with the largest number of such hospital visits was construction with 186, at 24.4 percent. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting was the only other industry with a double-digit percentage (10.2) in that category in 2015.

“The immediate inpatient work-related hospitalization surveillance system provides descriptive data regarding high-risk industries, and results can be used to inform prevention efforts, to monitor trends over time and to evaluate employer compliance with reporting regulations,” the report states.

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