New Methods and Data Sources for Measuring Economic Consequences of Workplace Injuries

by Robert T. Reville, Jay Bhattacharya, Lauren R. Sager Weinstein

The evaluation of programs and policies to reduce the incidence of workplace injuries requires that the consequences of those injuries are estimated correctly. Workplace injuries are complex events, and the availability of data that reflects that complexity is the largest obstacle to accurate estimation. In this article, the authors review the literature on the consequences of workplace injuries for both workers and employers. They focus on data sources, particularly linked administrative data from various public agencies. The authors also review other approaches to obtaining data to examine the consequences of workplace injuries, including public-use longitudinal survey data, primary data collection, and linked employee-employer databases. The authors found that longitudinal survey databases, including the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Health and Retirement Survey, are very promising although largely untapped sources of data on workplace injuries. They also found that linked employee-employer databases are well suited for the study of consequences for employers.

Originally published in: American Journal of Industrial Medicine, v. 40, no. 4. October 2001, pp. 452-463.

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