Year of Publication



Public Health

Date Available


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)

Committee Chair

Dr. Wayne Sanderson

Committee Member

Dr. Steven Browning

Committee Member

Dr. Terry Bunn


AIMS: To identify the most frequent type, nature, and cause of work-related injury amongst distillery workers as well as contributing factors to the injurious event in an effort to inform potential intervention.

METHODS: Workers’ Compensation First Reports of Injury (FROI) from the years 2010-2019 (N=974) were obtained. Variables were created for ‘occupational category’ and ‘accident description’ to assist in the elucidation of the injurious event. The Ratchet Circular Scan Test was used to assess seasonal variation in injury. Kernal Density Analysis was conducted to assess rates of injury by calendar year.

RESULTS: Amongst injured distillery workers, 908 of the injuries resulted in lost-time, 65 resulted in no-lost time, and 1 resulted in a worker fatality. The common injuries reported were strains or tears, lacerations, and contusions (33.4%, 14.7%, and 13.5% respectively. The most frequent anatomical sites of injury were the shoulder(s), fingers, and low back area (11.8%, 11.4%, and 8.9% respectively). Barreling experienced the greatest frequency of work-related injury at 28.5% of FROI. Through the Ratchet Circular Scan Test it was determined that there was a 2-month seasonal peak of injury between May and June.

CONCLUSIONS: The distillery occupation with the greatest number of work-related injury is barreling. The most common cause of injury for barreling employees was strain or tear through repetitive motion and the most common accident category was contact with objects or machinery. Based on the findings of this study, improving and implementing ergonomic solutions to everyday work tasks including the pushing, pulling, and in general transportation of bourbon barrels may positively influence the rate of work-related injury in the proceeding years of production