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Work-Related Hospitalizations

This indicator represents the number of hospitalizations that occur from work-related injuries or illnesses. Work-related hospitalizations are defined in this indicator as hospitalizations in which workers’ compensation is the payor. Because some portion of work-related hospitalizations are not claimed under workers’ compensation, this indicator is only a partial measure of work-related hospitalizations.  Minnesota Hospital discharge data are utilized to create this measure.

hospital beds

In 2009, there were an estimated 135,825 work-related hospitalizations that occurred nationally.   Hospitalizations that occur due to a work-related injury are not only expensive to treat but disruptive to the workplace and production.  This indicator provides a measure of the numbers and trends of work-related injuries and illnesses serious enough to involve hospitalization.

In 2011 the average age of an individual hospitalized for a work-related injury was 50 years old with the youngest individual 17 years of age and the oldest 90 years of age.  Males were more frequently hospitalized than females with 75% of hospitalized individuals being male and 25% female. 

Numbers and Rates of Work-Related Hospitalizations in Minnesota by Year (Age 16 or Greater)

Year Number Annual Rate per 100,000 employed persons ≥ 16 years of age
2000 2324 87.7
2001 2345 86.5
2002 2192 78.6
2003 2143 77.1
2004 2382 85.1
2005 2548 90.5
2006 2522 89.6
2007 2335 84.2
2008 2130 77.9
2009 1739 64.3
2010 1756 64.5
2011 1112 40.2

Rate of Work-Related Hospitalizations per 100,000 Employed Persons by Year (age 16 or Greater) 2000 – 2011

Rate of work-related hospitalizations between 2000 and 2011 in Minnesota, data in table above

Trend analysis between 2000 and 2011 of this indicator demonstrates a non-significant but downward trend in the number of work-related hospitalizations.  When interpreting this indicator one must be aware of several issues.  Due to the differences in provider recognition and payment mechanisms, there will be an undercount in the number of work-related injuries and illnesses identified in hospitalization billing data.   Recognition by the provider or employee that the injury or illness is work-related does not always occur and employees do not always apply for workers’ compensation.  Of further concern, individuals employed in farming, independent contractors, dockworkers, federal employees, and various other groups are not covered by workers compensation.   While these issues create an undercount in the number of work-related hospitalizations, the indicator provides a measure of the magnitude and trends of the number of hospitalizations that occur each year due to a work-related injury and illness.

Return to Indicators of Occupational Health and Safety

Updated Monday, April 07, 2014 at 09:16AM