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Using Capture‐Recapture Analysis to Identify Factors Associated with Differential Reporting of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses

Brooks Pierce, Nicole Nestoriak, and Leslie I. Boden


Recent work comparing the Bureau of Labor Statistics' Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) to Workers' Compensation (WC) claims databases concludes that the SOII substantially undercounts cases. We use linked WC-SOII data from Wisconsin to describe which cases are more likely to be accurately captured in the SOII. The SOII capture rate is higher for relatively acute injuries such as fractures, and is lower for injuries that are less readily identifiable as work-related such as inflammation or carpal tunnel, or for injuries in which WC claims were made substantially after injury incidence or after the year of injury. These findings further our understanding of the strengths and weaknesses in both the methodology used to measure the undercount and in the current data collection methods used by the SOII.