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January 7, 1983

Occupational and Nonoccupational Injuries

JAMA. 1983;249(1):20. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330250016011

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To the Editor.—  In "Fatal Occupational Injuries" (1982;248:692), Baker et al analyzed deaths related to work injuries during 1978 in Maryland. Of the 148 deaths, 25% involved road vehicles, 16% involved nonroad vehicles, 11% involved boats, and 5% involved aircraft. Firearms accounted for another 11% of injuries. A similar fatal injury pattern was seen in Oregon during 1980 and 1981, when there were 163 occupational fatalities. Here, deaths occurred as follows: 28.2%, traffic accidents; 4.3%, industrial vehicles; 7.4%, aircraft accidents; and 2.4%, homicides.It is surprising that fatal truck accidents are not more frequent. In Oregon, during 1980, about half of all trucks inspected by the State Police failed to pass routine safety inspections. Many of these vehicles lacked adequate brakes and posed a serious hazard to their drivers. They also represented a danger to the general public because of some of the hazardous cargos carried. This underscores the point