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Journal Article


Lucas DL, Lee JR, Moller KM, O'Connor MB, Syron LN, Watson JR. Saf. Health Work 2020; 11(2): 165-172.


(Copyright © 2020, Occupational Safety and Health Research Institute)




32596011 PMCID


BACKGROUND: To gain a better understanding of nonfatal injuries in Alaska, underutilized data sources such as workers' compensation claims must be analyzed. The purpose of the current study was to utilize workers' compensation claims data to estimate the risk of nonfatal, work-related injuries among occupations in Alaska, characterize injury patterns, and prioritize future research.

Methods: A dataset with information on all submitted claims during 2014-2015 was provided for analysis. Claims were manually reviewed and coded. For inclusion in this study, claims had to represent incidents that resulted in a nonfatal acute traumatic injury, occurred in Alaska during 2014-2015, and were approved for compensation.

Results: Construction workers had the highest number of injuries (2,220), but a rate lower than the overall rate (34 per 1,000 construction workers, compared to 40 per 1,000 workers overall). Fire fighters had the highest rate of injuries on the job, with 162 injuries per 1,000 workers, followed by law enforcement officers with 121 injuries per 1,000 workers. The most common types of injuries across all occupations were sprains/strains/tears, contusions, and lacerations.

Conclusion: The successful use of Alaska workers' compensation data demonstrates that the information provided in the claims dataset is meaningful for epidemiologic research. The predominance of sprains, strains, and tears among all occupations in Alaska indicates that ergonomic interventions to prevent overexertion are needed. These findings will be used to promote and guide future injury prevention research and interventions.

Language: en


Alaska; Occupational injuries; Workers' compensation


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