Researchers: BLS injury estimates inaccurate, should include additional data

April 10, 2013

East Lansing, MI – The Bureau of Labor Statistics should rely on additional data sources when determining workplace injury estimates, suggest researchers who say they discovered inaccuracies in BLS figures during a recent study.

Researchers from Michigan State University and the Michigan Department of Community Health identified 616 work-related amputations in Michigan in 2008; the official estimate from BLS was 250. The researchers pulled data from a variety of sources, whereas BLS relied solely on injury reports from a small sample of employers, an MSU press release states.

Kenneth Rosenman, study co-author and the chief of MSU’s Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine in the College of Human Medicine, said BLS should change its collection system to include data from hospital and emergency departments, as well as from the self-employed.

“If your numbers are not accurate on how much of a problem there is, how do you know where to deploy your resources, or judge if any of your programs are successful in addressing the problem?” Rosenman said in the press release.

The study was published in the March issue of the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. ​