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May 2006

Multiyear nonfatal work injury rates

Michael Pergamit, Parvati Krishnamurty

This article takes a first step toward answering how many workers have ever been injured on the job. An unexploited data source on work injuries--the 1979 cohort of the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY79)--indicates a higher rate of nonfatal workplace injuries than might be expected from official statistics. The article also finds that (1) a large proportion of injuries resulted in restricted or lost workdays and (2) there are significant differences in injury rates by sex, education level, and, in some cases, race or ethnicity. Less educated workers, whose jobs often involve considerable physical activity, have a substantial risk of on-the-job injury.

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