Injuries due to machine use in industrial arts, wood shop, automotive shop and other similar vocational educational programs are a serious issue. Losses are difficult to quantify due to the lack of consistent reporting. Still, injuries are occurring and little attention to this area of loss is being paid on a general basis. The purpose of this paper is to determine, as best as possible, the extent of the losses and to provide solutions to mitigate these losses and reduce the number of injuries to students involved in machine use.
As noted above, little statistics exist on this subject. However, the findings of a research project named "Injuries Sustained by Students in Shop Class" that was printed in the professional journal PEDIATRICS Vol. 106 No. 1 July 2000, pp. 10-13, accumulated loss information from 1992-1996 in Utah public schools. That study was conducted by the following people: Stacey Knight, MStat*, Edward P. Junkins, Jr, MD*, Amy C. Lightfoot, BS*, Calvert F. Cazier, MPH§, and Lenora M. Olson, MA*
The following entities helped make the project possible:
From *Intermountain Injury Control Research Center, Department of Pediatrics, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah?; Department of Pediatrics, Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine, Primary Children's Medical Center, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, Utah; and §Utah Department of Health, Violence and Injury Prevention Program, Division of Community and Family Health Services, Salt Lake City, Utah.
An excerpt from the study is as follows and sets the basis for this paper:
"Objective. Injuries in the school environment are a serious public health problem. Injuries occurring within the school shop class are a part of this problem that has received little to no attention. The purpose of our study was to describe the epidemiology of shop class injuries in Utah public schools for the years 1992-1996.
Methods. Utah statewide grades 7 through 12 school injury data for 1992-1996 were used. The data were generated from a standardized Student Injury Report form completed by school personnel immediately after the occurrence of an injury on school premises that: 1) caused loss of at least one half of a day of school; and/or 2) warranted medical attention and treatment. Shop injuries were defined as injuries that occurred in industrial art classes, vocational educational classes, or automotive classes. To determine the medical outcome and hospital charges associated with shop class injuries, we linked the Student Injury Report database to Utah statewide emergency department (ED) records (available for 1996 only), and to Utah statewide hospital inpatient discharge records (1992-1996).
Results. During 1992-1996, 14 133 students in grades 7 through 12 were injured at school, of which 1008 (7.1%) were injured during a shop class. The majority (88.4%) of shop injuries involved equipment use. Equipment was misused in 37.9% and malfunctioned in 3.5% of the incidents.