Traumatic Occupational Injuries
Each day, U.S. workers suffer injury, disability, and death from workplace incidents. On average, nearly 16 workers die each day from traumatic injuries. Overall, 5,734 workers died in 2005 from an occupational injury and more than 4 million workers had a nonfatal injury or illness. Private-sector workers, daily, experience 11,500 nonfatal work-related injuries/illnesses; more than half of these injuries/illnesses require job transfer, work restrictions, or time away from their jobs as a result. Among all workers, not just the private sector, 9,000 workers are treated in emergency departments each day, and approximately 200 of these workers are hospitalized. In 2004, this resulted in an estimated 3.4 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses among civilian workers that were serious enough to be treated in hospital emergency departments.
NIOSH Traumatic Injury Publications by Year:
NIOSH has produced numerous official numbered publications on traumatic injury topics, as well as publications that are more general but include information on injury. You may select from the links below to view lists of official NIOSH publications, many of which are linked to on-line versions.
NIOSH Journal Articles and Reports:
NIOSH researchers have written numerous journal articles and reports
on traumatic injury topics. Additionally, NIOSH, through extramural funding
mechanisms, has sponsored traumatic injury research that has been reported
in the literature. All NIOSH authored or funded research articles and
reports are collected in a bibliographic data system known as NIOSHTIC-2 which enables you to search the database for specific journal articles
Identifying problems in traumatic injury research, as in much of public health, is driven by surveillance. Surveillance is "the ongoing collection, analysis and interpretation of health data in the process of describing and monitoring a health [injury] event."* For occupational safety research, this refers to the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data on injuries, hazards, and exposures for identifying potential risk factors for further research, and for prevention planning and intervention evaluation. (From Traumatic Occupational Injury Research Needs and Priorities: A Report by the NORA Traumatic Injury Team, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 98-134.)
* Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  Guidelines for Evaluating Surveillance Systems. MMWR 37 (S-5):1-18. May 6, 1988.
Fatal Injury Data
NIOSH National Traumatic Occupational Fatality (NTOF) Surveillance
Bureau of Labor Statistics' (BLS)
Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities Web site
Nonfatal Injury Data
Injury Statistics Query System
NIOSH collaborates with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission ( ) to capture nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments by using the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). NEISS data are the basis of the Work-RISQS results.
The Public Health Approach to traumatic occupational injury research
Traumatic occupational injury research at NIOSH is conducted within a public health framework. In the injury research strategy developed by the interdisciplinary NORA Traumatic Injury Team, the authors write:
Toward the goal of setting priorities, developing collaborative efforts, and developing new research methodologies, the many scientific disciplines will apply different models to occupational injury research (e.g., the public health model, the risk management model, the safety sciences model). All of these are variations of the scientific modelan objective, problem-solving process. For this paper, the public health model is used as a framework to discuss occupational injury research and prevention. The elements of this model include:
The process is an iterative one requiring continuous monitoring to ensure that strategies implemented actually reduce or eliminate the exposure or outcome as the intervention progresses and do not create unacceptable new risks. There are specific traumatic occupational injury research needs within each of these phases of the public health model.
(From Traumatic Occupational Injury Research Needs and Priorities: A Report by the NORA Traumatic Injury Team, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication No. 98-134.)
NIOSH prevention information is most readily found in publications such
as NIOSH Alerts, Current Intelligence Bulletins, Hazard Controls and Hazard
IDs, Fact Sheets, Criteria Documents, and other publications. If you are
looking for prevention information for a particular problem area, you
may find the appropriate publications listed on NIOSH Traumatic
Occupational Injury Topics. If a topic page on the problem area does
not exist, another way to search for appropriate information is to scan
the list of publications that address traumatic
occupational injuries. Finally, the investigative reports conducted as
part of the Fatality
Assessment and Control Evaluation (FACE) program each have preventive
recommendations based on the investigation of specific fatal incidents.
The National Occupational Injury Research Symposium (NOIRS), which brings together occupational injury researchers and practitioners to present and discuss their findings, methods, and practices, is the only meeting of its kind conducted in the United States.