Cadernos de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1678-4464
CONCEICAO, Paulo Sérgio de Andrade; NASCIMENTO, Itatyane Bispo de Oliveira; OLIVEIRA, Patrícia Silva and CERQUEIRA, Maria Ruth Moreira. Occupational injuries treated in an emergency room. Cad. Saúde Pública [online]. 2003, vol.19, n.1, pp. 111-117. ISSN 1678-4464. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-311X2003000100012.
In Brazil, work-related injuries are only reported to the National Social Security data system. Therefore, records are limited to formally hired workers, who represent less than half of the active work force. In this cross-sectional study, cases of work-related injuries were identified and interviewed in an emergency room in the city of Salvador, capital of Bahia State, Brazil, to estimate their frequency and characteristics. Work-related injuries accounted for 31.6% of all injuries from external causes (n = 215). Only 36.8% of these patients reported having a formal job contract, and of these, fewer than half (45.5%) had their injuries reported to the Social Security data system, which indicates extensive underreporting of such important work-related health events, even in the formal sector of the economy. Medical records from emergency rooms can be an important source of information on work-related accidents, and health surveillance needs to be enforced in such health care services. This can also be an important step in obtaining a more complete picture of the occurrence of work-related accidents in Brazil.
Keywords : Occupational Accidents; Emergencies; Cross-Sectional Studies; Underregistration.