Online Program

Establishment Survey Response Process and Measurement Error: How and Why Are They Connected?
Danna Lee Moore, Associate Director, SESRC WSU 
*Polly A Phipps, Bureau Labor Statistics 

Keywords: establishment survey cognitive response model, administrative records

The BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) provides a unique opportunity to study the establishment cognitive response process and measurement error. Recent studies have cited discrepancies between SOII and State Workers’ Compensation claims (WC) to support the assertion that SOII undercounts workforce injuries and illnesses. To explore reasons for discrepancies, we conducted over 50 qualitative interviews with SOII respondents from establishments of varying sizes, industries, and levels of differences between SOII estimates and WC data. Our in-person interviews focused on possible errors in comprehension, retrieval, judgment, and communication associated with the form, respondent, and records system. We address numerous questions, including is SOII or WC the better quality measure? Across businesses, what response processes contribute to the magnitude of the differences? Results suggest that varying roles of respondents in SOII and WC reporting, records systems, understanding of reporting rules, and survey timing play a role in discrepancies. Our research also suggests that Third Party Agents coordinating employer insurance and WC influence the response process.