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May 2009, Vol. 132, No. 5
Comparing Workers’ Compensation claims with establishments’ responses to the SOII
Nicole Nestoriak and Brooks Pierce
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) collects and tabulates employer reports on work-related injuries and illnesses. SOII estimates are the primary source of information on nonfatal work-related injuries and illnesses in the United States.
Recent work comparing SOII microdata with other administrative sources of work-related injury and illness data, in particular Workers’ Compensation (WC) claims databases, concludes that the SOII substantially undercounts cases. This article focuses on the paper “Capture-Recapture Estimates of Nonfatal Workplace Injuries and Illnesses” by Leslie I. Boden and Al Ozonoff, which compares SOII case records with WC microdata for several States. Their findings indicate that the SOII detects between 50 percent and 75 percent of cases in the States studied.1
The present article describes the Boden-Ozonoff study and reports some additional findings that were obtained by analyzing a subset of the data that the Boden-Ozonoff paper used. This new research extends the aggregate results reported by Boden and Ozonoff in order to determine which types of cases the SOII is most likely to undercount. In particular, the present article focuses on differences in the SOII capture rate by establishment type, by time of case filing, and by type of injury.
This excerpt is from an article published in the May 2009 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 Leslie I. Boden and Al Ozonoff, “Capture-Recapture Estimates of Non-fatal Workplace Injuries and Illnesses,” Annals of Epidemiology, June 2008, pp. 500–06. See also John Ruser, “Examining evidence on whether BLS undercounts workplace injuries and illnesses,” Monthly Labor Review, August 2008, pp. 20–32.
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