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Employer Interviews: Exploring Differences in Reporting Work Injuries and Illnesses in the Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses and State Workers’ Compensation Claims

Polly A. Phipps and Danna Moore


Recent studies have cited discrepancies between the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) and State Workers' Compensation claims to support the assertion that the SOII undercounts injuries and illnesses among the American workforce. To explore reasons for possible discrepancies, we conduct qualitative interviews with employers responding to the SOII, in the Washington DC metropolitan area. Our in-person interviews focus on possible measurement errors associated with establishment record keeping systems and understanding of the survey request. Results suggest that the varying roles of respondents in SOII and WC reporting, understanding of reporting rules, survey timing, and injury and illness case complexity all may play a role in the discrepancies.