BWC/NIOSH partnership makes injury data easier to understand
By Mike Lampl, BWC Division of Safety & Hygiene Research Director
Wouldn’t it be useful to have a way to easily identify what’s causing injuries and what types of injuries have been rising in your industry?
We thought it would be. So, we partnered with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to produce data visualization charts that display summaries of 1.2 million Ohio workers’ compensation injury claims.
These data visualization charts – also called dashboards – are an interactive way to share information and explore large datasets efficiently. This interactive tool, covering claims from 2001 to 2011, displays injury trends by year, industry, and diagnosis or cause of injury. In the coming months, BWC and NIOSH will add data for more calendar years.
With the dashboards, you can create personalized views of charts that display claim counts and rates by general cause of injury.You can use this information to target ergonomic and safety prevention activities by understanding injury trends by year, industry, and diagnosis or cause of injury. The dashboards include:
- Dynamic and interactive charts that are user-friendly and easy to read.
- Summaries of workers’ compensation claims (both counts and rates) by general cause of injury.
- A detailed look at the largest and smallest industry sectors in the state.
The dashboards are user friendly and straightforward. For example, a user can go to the Detailed Industry Results page and select their industry from 267 options*. In this case, say Warehousing and Storage. From the dashboard, the user can then view claims count, frequency, full-time equivalent employees and prevention index. Prevention index is a method for ranking an industry in terms of frequency of injuries and injury rates.
Additionally, users can filter results to see what the prevention index is for ergonomic-related injuries; slips, trips and falls; and all other injuries. If the prevention index ranking is highest for ergonomic-related injuries, the industry should be focusing on preventing ergonomic injuries.
Our Division of Safety & Hygiene uses information from these dashboards to pinpoint industries and associated employers that could use specific, no-cost safety services we offer.
Thankfully, the overall trend for claims rates is going down in Ohio, which users can see in the General Industry Results page of the dashboard. A report that our research staff prepared shows the total recordable cases incidence rate of 2.7 in Ohio in 2016 was lower than the national rate of 3.2 cases per 100 full-time equivalent workers.
Ohio businesses and employees are already doing an excellent job of improving processes and practices related to occupational safety and health. We’re confident these dashboards, born out of our partnership with NIOSH, will be another powerful resource for making Ohio’s workplaces even safer.
* Industry options are based on the North American Industry Classification System codes.