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April 1, 1983

Occupational Injuries

Author Affiliations

National Institute for Occupational Health and Safety Atlanta

JAMA. 1983;249(13):1708. doi:10.1001/jama.1983.03330370022014

To the Editor.—  Work-related injuries exact an enormous annual toll in human death and suffering and in economic loss.In a recent article, Baker et al (1982;248:692) emphasize the value of the epidemiologic approach in understanding the causes of job accidents and in identifying the groups of workers at increased risk. They also report that such methods have rarely been used to study work-related injuries; as a result, governmental efforts to protect workers from occupational injury and death are based on outdated standards and misdirected priorities. We at the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health generally concur with these assertions. We have taken steps in recent years to apply epidemiologic methods to the problem of occupational injury.The institute's efforts have focused on both morbidity and mortality and include the following: (1) surveillance of occupational injuries, (2) analysis of existing data (usually case series) to identify major characteristics of