Lesson 2: Epidemiology of Injuries

Lesson 2: Epidemiology of Injuries

McKenzie, Pinger, and Kotecki (2005) define injury as “ physical harm or damage
resulting from an acute exchange of energy that exceeds the body ’ s tolerance. ” All types of energy — kinetic, mechanical, chemical, thermal, electrical, and nuclear — are present in American industries and workplaces. Therefore the potential for injuries is present for every worker every

day, regardless of occupation. Injuries are generally classified as unintentional or intentional. Unintentional injuries result from chance occurrences not intended by anyone to cause harm to another; these injuries are also known as accidents. Intentional injuries result from someone intending to cause harm; these injuries are also known as violence. Both types of injuries are a major occupational hazard experienced by many workers every day. They represent direct and indirect costs to the employer and to the employee and his or her family.

McKenzie et al. (2005) argue that age-adjusted death rates are the best indicator for examining changes in the risk of death for individuals over a period of time. Accidents, suicides, and homicides represent a significant cause of death in this country.


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