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Injury prevention and occupational safety: four questions, three answers
  1. B Pless
  1. Montreal Children's Hospital, Montreal
  1. Correspondence to:
 Barry Pless, Editor, Injury Prevention, Montreal Children's Hospital, C538, 2300 Tupper Street, Montreal, QC H3H 1P3, Canada

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Author's note: This paper is written in the first person for two reasons. First, I teach writers to use the “active voice” whenever possible and must practise what I preach. Second, and more germane, this is a highly personal account of my impressions of an area in injury prevention that I make no pretence I know well. It is an account of a voyage of discovery and cannot be dignified by the trappings of an objective assessment that typical scientific writing conveys.

When I was invited to give this wrap-up talk, I was flattered but wondered what someone whose main interest is not occupational injuries might have to say that could be of interest to the audience. In light of this uncertainty, I decided to base this presentation largely on my experiences as editor of this journal in the field.

I was invited when our family was preparing to celebrate both Passover and Easter. At the Passover meal it is customary for the youngest to ask four questions, the theme of which is rhetorical along the lines of “Why is this night different from all others in the year?” Then the answers are given each beginning with “On all other nights we do so such and such, but on this night we do thus and such”. Together the questions and answers summarise the Passover ritual.

It struck me that this was the sort of question I asked myself after receiving the invitation. I wondered in what way occupational injuries differ from most other injuries such that I knew so little about them. I also wondered what I could say about publishing material pertaining to these injuries that might be different from publishing studies about seat belt use, for example. Consequently, I decided that I would frame this presentation around …

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