Indicators of Occupational Health and Safety: Work-related hospitalizations - MN Dept. of Health

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 2014, nationally, there were 3.5 million work-related injuries and illnesses reported by employers. While the vast majority of those injuries do not require hospitalization those that do 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 2014 the average age of an individual hospitalized for a work-related injury was 51 years old with the youngest individual 16 years of age and the oldest 82 years of age.  Males were more frequently hospitalized than females with 73% of hospitalized individuals being male and 27% 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
2012 1147 41.3
2013 2322 82.5
2014 1868 65.5

Rate of Work-Related Hospitalizations per 100,000 Employed Persons by Year (age 16 or Greater) 2000 – 2014

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

When interpreting this indicator one must be aware of several issues. Coding discrepancies in the years 2010, 2011, and 2012 by a number of hospitals created an undercount in the data. The breaks in the data denote these differences in coding practices, and trend analysis should be completed with caution. 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.

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Updated Monday, July 10, 2017 at 09:38AM