97,000 Died of Preventable Injuries in 2000

Preventable injuries caused 97,000 deaths in 2000, despite research showing that injuries result from hazardous conditions and unsafe behaviors that can be corrected.

Most safety professionals will tell you: there's no such thing as an accident. Injuries are preventable, as are deaths, with proper precautions, controls, use of personal protective equipment, training and vigilance.

Unfortunately, more than 97,000 people didn't get that message. They died of preventable injuries in the United States last year, according to Injury Facts 2001, the National Safety Council's (NSC) annual report of injury statistics.

"Some people think that accidents in the home and community just happen -- that they are due to fate or bad luck and are unavoidable," said Alan C. McMillan, National Safety Council president. "Research shows, however, that injuries result from hazardous conditions, which can be corrected, and unsafe behaviors, which can be changed."

The 2001 edition of Injury Facts is the 81st annual report by the National Safety Council on unintentional injuries and their characteristics and costs. The new publication provides updated statistics on injuries at work, in motor vehicles, in public venues, in homes and in communities. Data related to occupational and environmental health issues are also presented. The data is segmented in a variety of ways, including by industry, age, cost and type of injury.

The new edition of Injury Facts reports that unintentional injuries are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, exceeded only by heart disease, cancer, stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases. Unintentional injuries continue to be the leading cause of death among people aged 1-34. Nonfatal injuries also affect millions of Americans, resulting in 20.5 million disabling injuries annually.

In this edition of Injury Facts, the Home and Public sections from previous editions have been consolidated into a single Home and Community section to focus on certain topics. For example, the 2000 statistics indicate that 29,500 people died from unintentional injuries in the home and community, 9,300 of them from falls. The topic of falls receives special emphasis in Injury Facts 2000, with a table showing the estimated number of fall-related episodes by the type of fall for sex and age groups.

Among the fall-related deaths that occurred in the home or on home premises, about 80 percent were to people over 65. Falls are the number one cause of injury-related death for males 80 and older and for females 75 and older.

The 2001 edition offers special sections on falls, school violence, confined spaces, benchmarking, industry-specific death and injury rates and new state-by-state data.

A CD-Rom version of Injury Facts contains the same full-color graphs and charts and the full text of all the informative articles from the print edition. Injury Facts CD-ROM 2001 Edition offers the ability to "cut and paste" charts and graphs into reports and presentations; search for articles and data using keywords; and view and print pages exactly as they appear in the book.

Injury Facts can be ordered by calling 1-800-621-7619 or online at www.nsc.org on the Products and Services page.

edited by Sandy Smith

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