Study finds inverse relationship between injury, fatality rates

May 16, 2012

Santa Monica, CA – States that report low numbers of nonfatal injuries tend to have high fatality rates, while states that report high injury rates have low fatality rates, according to a study from the RAND Corp., a nonprofit research institution.

Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, researchers found that states with fewer nonfatal injuries and high fatality rates are more likely to be in the South, have low workers’ compensation benefits and wages, and not be unionized, while states with more injuries and low fatality rates tend to be in the West, offer higher benefits and wages, be unionized, and conduct more workplace inspections, a RAND press release stated.

Researchers explained that better workers’ comp benefits provide an incentive for workers to report injuries. Likewise, costlier premiums may motivate employers to focus on injury prevention. They noted that the study shows that reporting more injuries may be a sign of a better worker safety program.

The study was published online April 2 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.