Statistics Bureau of Labor Statistics Worker Health and Wellness Manufacturing Health Care Workers

BLS: Musculoskeletal disorders account for high number of DART injuries

injury illness topology

Photo: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, March 2016

Washington – Musculoskeletal disorders account for between one-third and one-half of all injuries resulting in days away from work, job restriction or transfer in six major industries, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released April 13.

The report stems from a BLS pilot study examining data to compare the circumstances and characteristics of injuries and illnesses resulting in job transfers or work restrictions. Researchers examined 2014 data for job transfers and days away from work for beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, general merchandise stores, couriers and messengers, waste management and remediation, hospitals, and accommodation.

In addition to the high prevalence of MSDs, researchers found:

  • Sprains, strains and tears had, by far, the largest incidence rate for job transfer or restriction across all six industries.
  • Repetitive motion involving micro-tasks resulted in the largest number of median days of job transfer or restriction for all industries except waste management and remediation services.
  • Workers 65 and older in the beverage and tobacco product manufacturing and courier and messenger industries had the largest median days of job transfer or restriction despite having the fewest number of cases.

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