Enhancing severe injury surveillance: The association between severe injury events and fatalities in US coal mines

Gerald S. Poplin, Hugh Miller, Joseph Sottile, Chengcheng Hu, John R.M. Hill, Jefferey L. Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


This report evaluates the potential of using high degree (or severe) injuries as a proxy for fatal events. Injuries occurring at bituminous coal mines within the United States during the years 1996-2006 were classified by the degree of severity according to the Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS). Using multivariate discrete and logistic models (via generalized estimating equations) and adjusting for number of employees and underground v. surface status, high degree (AIS ≥ 3) injuries in the prior year were associated with an increased risk (OR 2.02, 95% CI 1.17 to 3.46) of fatalities within the same mine. While there is a need for improvements and standardization of injury surveillance and reporting, the findings support the study hypothesis that mining conditions resulting in high degree injuries can also result in fatalities, thus expanding the use and versatility of high degree injury surveillance data. With an improved understanding of the conditions and activities behind these two injury event types, these results enhance the ability for industry to more readily identify and develop technological advancements for safety and mitigating disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-35
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Safety Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013



  • injury
  • mining
  • surveillance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality

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