Appendix C Definitions

Bench marking. The process of adjusting a set of estimates based on a reference of standard for one or more of the estimates. In the annual survey, it is used to increase the precision of the estimates (due to the use of a ratio estimator) and to impute for births (i.e., adjust for new companies). The reference used is the annual average employment.

Days away from work or days of restricted work activity. Count the number of calendar days the employee was on restricted work activity or was away from work as a result of the recordable injury or illness. Do not count the day on which the injury or illness occurred. Begin counting days from the day after the incident occurred. If a single injury or illness involved both days away from work and days of restricted work activity, enter the total number of days for each. Stop counting days away from work or days of restricted work activity once the total of either or the combination of both reaches 180 days.

Days of job transfer or restricted work activity. The number of workdays on which, because of injury or illness:

  1. the employee was assigned to another job on a temporary basis;
  2. the employee worked at a permanent job less than full-time; or
  3. the employee worked at a permanently assigned job but could not perform all duties normally connected with it.

Establishment. A single physical location where business is conducted or where services or industrial operations are performed. Where distinctly separate activities are performed at a single physical location, each activity is treated as a separate establishment.

Event or exposure. The event or exposure describes the manner in which the injury or illness was produced or inflicted by the source of injury or illness.

First-aid treatment. One time treatment and subsequent observation of minor scratches, cuts, burns, splinters, etc., which do not ordinarily require medical care.

Hours worked. The total hours worked by all employees during the report period. Includes all time on duty, but does not include vacation, holidays, sick leave and all other non-work time even though paid.

Incidence rate. An incidence rate is the number of recordable injuries and/or illnesses occurring among a given number of full-time workers (usually 100 full-time workers) over a given period of time (usually one year). The rate is calculated as: (N/EH) X 200,000 where:

N = number of occupational injuries and/or illnesses or lost workdays.
EH = total hours worked by all employees during the calendar year.
200,000 = base for 100 full-time equivalent workers (working 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year).

Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. The Log of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses is used to classify work-related injuries and illnesses and to note the extent and severity of each case. The Log is used to record specific details about what happened and how it happened.

Median days away from work. Measure used to summarize the varying lengths of absences from work among cases with workdays missed. Half of the cases involved more days and the other half involved fewer days than a specified median.

Medical treatment. Treatment administered by a physician or licensed health care professional. Medical treatment does not include first aid treatment even if provided by a physician or licensed health care professional. Medical treatment includes managing and caring for a patient for the purpose of combating disease or disorder.

Nature of injury or illness. The nature of injury or illness identifies the principal physical characteristics of the injury or illness.

Occupational illness. Any abnormal condition or disorder, other than one resulting from an occupational injury, caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment. It includes acute and chronic illnesses or diseases that may be caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion, or direct contact. The following categories are used by employers to classify recordable occupational illnesses. The examples given are not to be considered the complete listing of the types of illnesses and disorders that are counted under each category as shown on the survey form.

  1. Skin diseases or disorders. Skin disease or disorders are illnesses involving the worker’s skin that are caused by work exposure to chemicals, plants, or other substances.

    Examples: contact dermatitis, eczema, or rash caused by primary irritants and sensitizers or poisonous plants; oil acne; friction blisters; chrome ulcers; or inflammation of the skin.

  2. Respiratory conditions. Respiratory conditions are illnesses associated with breathing hazardous biological agents, chemicals, dust, gases, vapors, or fumes at work.

    Examples: silicosis, asbestosis, pneumonitis; pharyngitis; rhinitis or acute congestion; farmer’s lung, beryllium disease, tuberculosis, occupational asthma, reactive airways dysfunction syndrome (RADS), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), hypersensitivity pneumonitis, toxic inhalation injury, such as metal fume fever, chronic obstructive bronchitis, and other pneumoconioses

  3. Poisoning. Poisoning includes disorders evidenced by abnormal concentrations of toxic substances in blood, other tissues, other bodily fluids, or the breath that are caused by the ingestion or absorption of toxic substances into the body.

    Examples:  poisoning by lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, or other metals; poisoning by carbon monoxide, hydrogen sulfide or other gases; poisoning by benzene, benzol, carbon tetrachloride, or other organic solvents; poisoning by insecticide sprays such as parathion or lead arsenate; poisoning by other chemicals such as formaldehyde.

  4. All other illnesses. All other occupational illnesses.

    Examples: heatstroke, sunstroke, heat exhaustion, heat stress and other effects of environmental heat; freezing, frostbite, and other effects of exposure to low temperatures; decompression sickness; effects of ionizing radiation (isotopes, x-rays, radium); effects of nonionizing radiation (welding flash, ultra-violet rays, lasers); anthrax; bloodborne pathogenic diseases, such as AIDS, HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C; brucellosis; infectious hepatitis; malignant or benign tumors; histoplasmosis; coccidioidomycosis.

Occupational injury. An occupational injury is a wound or damage to the body resulting from an event in the work environment.  Examples: cut; puncture; laceration; abrasion; fracture; bruise; contusion; chipped tooth; amputation; insect bite; electrocution; thermal, chemical, electrical, or radiation burn. Sprain and strain injuries to muscles, joints, and connective tissue are classified as injuries when they result from a slip, trip, fall, or other similar accidents.

Privacy concern cases. The following types of injuries or illnesses are privacy concern cases:

  1. an injury or illness to an intimate body part or to the reproductive system;
  2. an injury or illness resulting from a sexual assault;
  3. a mental illness;
  4. a case of HIV infection, hepatitis, or tuberculosis;
  5. a needlestick injury or cut from a sharp object that is contaminated with blood or other potentially infectious material; and
  6. other illnesses, if the employee independently and voluntarily requests that his or her name not be entered on the log.

Recordable work-related injuries and illnesses. Any occupational injuries or illnesses that result in:

  1. death, regardless of the time between the injury and death, or the length of the illness;
  2. loss of consciousness;
  3. days away from work;
  4. restricted work activity or job transfer; or
  5. medical treatment beyond first aid.

Restricted work activity. Restricted work activity occurs when, as the result of a work-related injury or illness, an employer or health care professional keeps, or recommends keeping, an employee from doing the routine functions of his or her job or from working the full workday that the employee would have been scheduled to work before the injury or illness occurred.

Sampling cell (strata). The parts into which the sampling frame is partitioned, for the purpose of stratified sampling.

Source of injury or illness. The source of injury or illness identifies the object, substance, bodily motion, or exposure that directly produced or inflicted the injury or illness.

Standard Industrial Classification (SIC). A classification system developed by the Office of Management and Budget, Executive Office of the President, for use in the classification of establishments by type of activity in which engaged. Each establishment is assigned an industry code for its major activity which is determined by the product manufactured or service rendered. Establishments may be classified in 2-, 3-, or 4-digit industries, according to the degree of information available.

Summary. The summary form shows the work-related injury and illness totals for the year in each category.

Symptoms, signs, and ill-defined conditions. This division classifies symptoms, signs, or abnormal results from laboratory or investigative medical tests or procedures.  It includes those ill-defined conditions that cannot be classified elsewhere.

Systemic diseases and disorders. This division classifies toxic and non-toxic disorders affecting systems of the body.

Traumatic injuries and disorders. This division classifies traumatic injuries and disorders, effects of external agents, and poisoning. Generally, a traumatic injury or disorder is the result of a single incident, event, or exposure.

Work environment. The physical location, equipment, materials processed or used, and the kinds of operations performed by an employee in the performance of his or her work. The work environment includes the establishment and other locations where one or more employees are working or are present as a condition of their employment.

Work-related injury or illness. An injury or illness is considered work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment caused or contributed to the condition or significantly aggravated a preexisting condition. Work-relatedness is presumed for injuries and illnesses resulting from events or exposures occurring in the workplace, unless an exception specifically applies.