TitleApplication of data linkage techniques to Pacific Northwest commercial fishing injury and fatality data.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsNahorniak, J, Bovbjerg, V, Case, S, Kincl, L
JournalInj Epidemiol
Date Published07/2021

BACKGROUND: Commercial fishing consistently has among the highest workforce injury and fatality rates in the United States. Data related to commercial fishing incidents are routinely collected by multiple organizations which do not currently coordinate or automatically link data. Each data set has the potential to generate a more complete picture to inform prevention efforts. Our objective was to examine the utility of using statistical data linkage methods to link commercial fishing incident data when personally identifiable information is not available.

METHODS: In this feasibility study, we identified true matches and discrepancies between de-identified data sets using the Python Record Linkage Toolkit. Four commercial fishing data sets from Oregon and Washington were linked: the Commercial Fishing Incident Database, the Vessel Casualty Database, the Nonfatal Injuries Database, and the Oregon Trauma Registry. The data sets each covered different date ranges within 2000-2017, containing 458, 524, 184, and 11 cases respectively. Several data linkage classifiers were evaluated.

RESULTS: The Naïve-Bayes classifier returned the highest number of true matches between these small data sets. A total of 41 true matches and 8 close matches were identified, of which 29 were determined to be duplicates. In addition, linkage highlighted 4 records that were not commercial fishing cases from Oregon and Washington. The optimum match parameters were the date, state, vessel official number, and number of people on board.

CONCLUSIONS: Statistical data linkage enables accurate, routine matching for small de-identified injury and fatality data sets such as those in commercial fishing. It provides information needed to improve the accuracy of existing data records. It also enables expanding and sharpening details of individual incidents in support of occupational safety research.

Alternate JournalInj Epidemiol
PubMed ID34218819
PubMed Central IDPMC8256577
Grant ListU54OH007544-16 / OH / NIOSH CDC HHS / United States