Glossary

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ACCIDENT

The occurrence in a sequence of events that produces unintended injury, death, or property damage. Accident refers to the event, not to the result of the event (see preventable injury). The term “accident” has largely been replaced in the public health community with the term “incident.” (see preventable deaths and injuries)

ADMINISTRATIVE EXPENSES

Includes the administrative cost of public and private insurance, as well as police and legal costs. Private insurance administrative costs are the difference between premiums paid to insurance companies and claims paid out by them. It is their cost of doing business and a part of the cost total. Claims paid by insurance companies are not identified separately, as every claim is compensation for losses such as wages, medical expenses, property damage, etc.

CHOKING

Includes deaths from unintentional ingestion or inhalation of food or other objects resulting in the obstruction of respiratory passages.

CONFIDENCE INTERVAL

Confidence intervals are used to express the degree of uncertainty associated with an estimate. A confidence interval reflects the probability that the actual number will fall within a specified range. The wider the confidence interval/range, the less certain the estimate. For example, a 90% confidence interval of 3,100 to 3,500 indicates that there is a 90% likelihood that the actual count will fall within this range.

COSTS – COMPREHENSIVE

Represents the combination of economic costs and wage risk premiums (also referred to as lost quality of life). Because wage risk premiums do not represent real income not received or expenses incurred, it is not included in the total economic cost figure. The comprehensive cost estimate can be used in cost-benefit analysis because the comprehensive cost estimate represents the maximum amount society should spend to prevent a statistical death or injury.

COSTS – ECONOMIC

Represents the cost of fatal and nonfatal preventable injuries incurred by society and includes income not received or expenses incurred. The economic cost estimate can be compared to other economic measures such as gross domestic product, per capita income, or personal consumption expenditures.  

CUT AND PIERCE

Injury resulting from an incision, slash, perforation, or puncture by a pointed or sharp instrument, weapon, or object.  This category does not include injury from being struck by or against a blunt object (such as the side of a nightstand) or bite wounds; these injuries fall in the category “struck by/against.”

DEATH FROM INCIDENT

A death that occurs within one year of the incident.

DISABLING INJURY

An injury causing death, permanent disability, or any degree of temporary total disability beyond the day of the injury. Starting with the 2012 Edition of Injury Facts, the definition of disabling injury was replaced by medically consulted injury for all non-fatal injury estimates.

DISASTER EVENTS

For the purposes of Injury Facts, disaster events are preventable injury events that result in five or more deaths. Disaster events include natural disasters like severe weather and fires as well as transportation events. Intentional events like terrorism or mass shootings are not included.

DROWNING

Includes non-transport-related drownings such as those resulting from swimming, playing in the water, or falling in. Excludes drownings in floods and other cataclysms, which are classified to the cataclysm, and boating-related drownings.

DROWNING

Includes non-transport-related drownings such as those resulting from swimming, playing in the water, or falling in. Excludes drownings in floods and other cataclysms, which are classified to the cataclysm, and boating-related drownings.

EMPLOYERS UNINSURED COSTS

This is an estimate of uninsured costs incurred by employers that represents the dollar value of time lost by uninjured workers. It includes time spent investigating and reporting injuries, administering first aid, hiring and training replacement workers, and the extra cost of overtime for uninjured workers.

FALLS

Includes deaths from falls from one level to another or on the same level. Excludes falls in or from transport vehicles, or while boarding or alighting from them.

FATAL INCIDENT

An incident that results in one or more deaths within one year of the incident.

FIRE LOSS

Includes losses from both structure fires and non-structure fires, such as vehicles, outside storage, crops and timber.

FIRE, FLAMES OR SMOKE

Includes deaths from exposure to fire, flames, or smoke, and from injuries in fires such as falls and struck by falling objects. Excludes burns from hot objects or liquids.

FIRE, FLAMES OR SMOKE

Includes deaths from exposure to fire, flames, or smoke, and from injuries in fires such as falls and struck by falling objects. Excludes burns from hot objects or liquids.

HOME

A dwelling and its premises within the property lines. Includes single family dwellings and apartment houses, duplex dwellings, boarding and rooming houses, and seasonal cottages. Excluded are barracks, dormitories and resident institutions.

INCIDENT

The preferred term for “accident” in the public health community. It refers to the occurrence in a sequence of events that produces unintended injury, death or property damage. Incident refers to the event, not the result of the event (see preventable deaths and injuries).

INJURY

Physical harm or damage to the body resulting from an exchange, usually acute, of mechanical, chemical, thermal or other environmental energy that exceeds the body’s tolerance.

MECHANICAL SUFFOCATION

Includes deaths from hanging and strangulation, and suffocation in enclosed or confined spaces; cave-ins; or by bed clothes, plastic bags, or similar materials.

MEDICAL EXPENSES

Doctor fees, hospital charges, the cost of medicines, future medical costs, and ambulance, helicopter and other emergency medical services are included.

MEDICALLY CONSULTED INJURY

An injury serious enough that a medical professional was consulted. For the motor vehicle, home and public venues, the National Safety Council uses the medically consulted injury estimates from the National Health Interview Survey. The Council uses the total recordable case estimate, using OSHA’s definition, published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to estimate the number of workplace injuries. Because the BLS estimate excludes self-employed, unpaid family workers and federal government employees, the Council extrapolates the BLS estimate to reflect the total worker population.

MOTOR VEHICLE

Any mechanically or electrically powered device not operated on rails, upon which or by which any person or property may be transported upon a land highway. The load on a motor vehicle or trailer attached to it is considered part of the vehicle. Tractors and motorized machinery are included while self-propelled in transit or used for transportation. Non-motor vehicle is any road vehicle other than a motor vehicle, such as a bicycle or animal-drawn vehicle. Coaster wagon, child’s sled, child’s tricycle, child’s carriage and similar means of transportation are not included; persons using these are considered pedestrians.

MOTOR-VEHICLE DAMAGE

Includes the value of damage to vehicles from motor-vehicle crashes. The cost of normal wear and tear to vehicles is not included.

MOTOR-VEHICLE INCIDENT

An unstable situation that includes at least one harmful event (injury or property damage) involving a motor vehicle in transport (in motion, in readiness for motion or on a roadway but not parked in a designated parking area) that does not result from a discharge of a firearm or explosive device and does not directly result from a cataclysm. [see Committee on Motor Vehicle Traffic Accident Classification. (1997). Manual on Classification of Motor Vehicle Traffic Accidents, ANSI D16.1-1996. Itasca IL: National Safety Council.]

MOTOR-VEHICLE OCCUPANT

Injury to a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle caused by a collision, rollover, crash or some other event involving another vehicle, an object, or a pedestrian. This category includes occupants of cars, pickup trucks, vans, heavy transport vehicles, buses, and SUVs. Injuries to occupants of other types of vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, and go-carts fall in the category of “other transport.”

MOTOR-VEHICLE OCCUPANT

Injury to a driver or passenger of a motor vehicle caused by a collision, rollover, crash or some other event involving another vehicle, an object, or a pedestrian. This category includes occupants of cars, pickup trucks, vans, heavy transport vehicles, buses, and SUVs. Injuries to occupants of other types of vehicles such as ATVs, snowmobiles, and go-carts fall in the category of “other transport.”

MOTOR-VEHICLE TRAFFIC INCIDENT

A motor-vehicle incident that occurs on a trafficway, any part of which is open to the use of the public for the purposes of vehicular traffic. A motor-vehicle non-traffic incident is any motor-vehicle incident that occurs entirely in any place other than a trafficway.

MOTORCYCLIST

Injury to a driver or passenger of a motorcycle resulting from a collision, loss of control, crash, or some other event involving a vehicle, object, or pedestrian. This category includes drivers or passengers of motorcycles (classic style), sidecars, mopeds, motorized bicycles, and motor-powered scooters.

MOTORCYCLIST

Injury to a driver or passenger of a motorcycle resulting from a collision, loss of control, crash, or some other event involving a vehicle, object, or pedestrian. This category includes drivers or passengers of motorcycles (classic style), sidecars, mopeds, motorized bicycles, and motor-powered scooters.

NATURAL HEAT OR COLD

Includes deaths resulting from exposure to excessive natural heat and cold (e.g., extreme weather conditions).

NONFATAL INJURY INCIDENT

An incident in which at least one person is injured and no injury results in death.

OCCUPATIONAL ILLNESS

Any abnormal condition or disorder caused by exposure to environmental factors associated with employment. It includes acute and chronic illnesses or diseases caused by inhalation, absorption, ingestion or direct contact.

OCCUPATIONAL INJURY

Any injury such as a cut, fracture, sprain, amputation, etc., that results from a work incident or from a single, instantaneous exposure in the work environment.

OPIOID DRUGS

Opioids encompass both prescription and illegal painkillers and include: heroin, natural and synthetic opioids (such as oxycodone, morphine, and hydrocodone), methadone, and other synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl, fentanyl analogs, and tramadol).

OTHER TRANSPORT

Injury to a person boarding, alighting, or riding in or on all other transport vehicles involved in a collision or other event with another vehicle, pedestrian, or animal not included in Motor- vehicle occupant or Motorcyclist. It includes railway, water, air, space, animal and animal-drawn conveyances (e.g., horseback riding), ATVs, battery-powered carts, ski lifts, and other cable cars not on rails.

OTHER TRANSPORT

Injury to a person boarding, alighting, or riding in or on all other transport vehicles involved in a collision or other event with another vehicle, pedestrian, or animal not included in Motor- vehicle occupant or Motorcyclist. It includes railway, water, air, space, animal and animal-drawn conveyances (e.g., horseback riding), ATVs, battery-powered carts, ski lifts, and other cable cars not on rails.

OVEREXERTION

Working the body or a body part too hard, causing damage to muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, joint, or peripheral nerve (e.g., common cause of strains, sprains, and twisted ankles). This category includes overexertion from lifting, pushing, or pulling or from excessive force.

PEDALCYCLE

A vehicle propelled by human power and operated solely by pedals; excludes mopeds.

PEDESTRIAN

Any person involved in a motor-vehicle incident who is not in or upon a motor vehicle or non-motor vehicle. Includes persons injured while using a coaster wagon, child’s tricycle, roller skates, etc. Excludes persons boarding, alighting, jumping or falling from a motor vehicle in transport who are considered occupants of the vehicle.

PERMANENT DISABILITY (OR PERMANENT IMPAIRMENT)

Any degree of permanent nonfatal injury. It includes any injury that results in the partial or complete loss of use of any part of the body or in any permanent impairment of functions of the body or a part thereof.

POISONING

Includes deaths from drugs, medicines, other solid and liquid substances, and gases and vapors. Excludes poisonings from spoiled foods, Salmonella, etc., which are classified as disease deaths.

POISONING

Includes deaths from drugs, medicines, other solid and liquid substances, and gases and vapors. Excludes poisonings from spoiled foods, Salmonella, etc., which are classified as disease deaths.

PREVENTABLE DEATHS AND INJURIES

Incidents that some people refer to as “accidents,” while others in the public health community use the more technical term “unintentional deaths and injuries.” Preventable deaths and injuries do not include natural causes of death, like illnesses, or intentional events, like homicides or suicides. The National Safety Council uses the term “preventable incidents” instead of “accidents” to remind us that these deaths can be eliminated.

PROPERTY DAMAGE INCIDENT

An incident that results in property damage where no person is injured.

PUBLIC INCIDENT

Any incident other than motor vehicle that occurs in the public use of any premises. Includes deaths in recreation (swimming, hunting, etc.), in transportation (except motor vehicle), in public buildings, etc., and from widespread natural disasters, even though some may have happened on home premises. Excludes incidents to people in the course of gainful employment.

PUBLIC SERVICES

This is an estimate of the emergency services primarily paid by state and local governments including: police, fire, emergency medical, victim assistance, coroner services, and incident management.

SOURCE OF INJURY

The principal object, such as a tool, machine or equipment involved in the incident and is usually the object inflicting injury or property damage. Also called agency or agent.

STRUCK BY OR AGAINST

Includes death resulting from a strike by or against an object or other person.

STRUCK BY OR AGAINST

Injury resulting from being struck by (hit) or crushed by a human, animal, or inanimate object or force other than a vehicle or machinery; injury caused by striking (hitting) against a human, animal, or inanimate object or force other than a vehicle or machinery.

TEMPORARY TOTAL DISABILITY

An injury that does not result in death or permanent disability but renders the injured person unable to perform regular duties or activities on one or more full calendar days after the day of the injury.

TOTAL CASES

Includes all work-related deaths and illnesses and those work-related injuries that result in loss of consciousness, restriction of work or motion, or transfer to another job, or require medical treatment other than first aid.

UNINTENTIONAL DEATH AND INJURY

The term for accidental death and injury in the public health community. It refers to the result of an incident. The National Safety Council also uses the term “preventable injury.”