Musculoskeletal disorders and days away from work in 2007

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.

Incidence rate and number of injuries and illnesses due to musculoskeletal disorders, selected occupations, 2007
[Chart data—TXT]

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 (visited September 27, 2016).


Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics

  • A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
    As one of the largest U.S. industries, healthcare is steadily growing to meet the needs of an increasing population with an increasing life expectancy. This Spotlight looks at how much people spend on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.

  • Employment and Wages in Healthcare Occupations
    Healthcare occupations are a significant percentage of U.S. employment. Some of the largest and highest paying occupations are in healthcare. This Spotlight examines employment and wages for healthcare occupations.

  • Fifty years of looking at changes in peoples lives
    Longitudinal surveys help us understand long-term changes, such as how events that happened when a person was in high school affect labor market success as an adult.