December 02, 2008
Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), often referred to as ergonomic injuries, are injuries or illnesses affecting the connective tissues of the body such as muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage, or spinal disks. MSDs accounted for 29 percent of all workplace injuries requiring time away from work in 2007, compared to 30 percent of total days-away-from-work cases in 2006.
There were 335,390 MSDs in 2007; there was a decline of 21,770 cases (6 percent) from 2006 to 2007. The rate of MSD injuries declined 8 percent from 39 cases per 10,000 workers in 2006 to 35.
Nursing aides, orderlies, and attendants had a MSD rate of 252 cases per 10,000 workers, a rate more than seven times the national MSD average for all occupations. Laborers and freight handlers had a MSD rate of 149 and light and delivery truck drivers had a MSD rate of 117.
The MSD rate for several of the major industry sectors decreased significantly from last year. The MSD incident rate for management of companies and enterprises decreased 32 percent (to 11), construction decreased 16 percent (to 41), and manufacturing decreased 10 percent (to 41).
These data are from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Additional information is available from "Nonfatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2007," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1716. (Note: This Editor’s Desk article was revised April 1, 2009 after the news release it is based on was reissued on March 31, 2009 to correct selected data in the musculoskeletal disorders category.)
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Musculoskeletal disorders and days away from work in 2007 on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2008/dec/wk1/art02.htm (visited July 30, 2015).
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