May 04, 1999
In 1997, the median number of days away from work for an occupational injury or illness was 5 days. This key measure of severity of workplace injuries and illness designates the point at which half of the cases involved more days and half involved fewer days.
Median days away from work were highest for carpel tunnel syndrome (25 days), fractures (21 days), and amputations (18 days) among the major types of disabling injuries and illnesses. Among the events and exposures leading to injury, repetitive motion, such as grasping tools, scanning groceries, and typing, resulted in the longest absences from work with a median of 17 days.
Truck drivers had the highest median days away from work (9 days), followed by carpenters, plumbers, and pipe fitters, public transportation attendants, and butchers and meat cutters (each with 8 days). Workers injured in mining had the highest median days away from work among the major industry divisions (18 days).
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. For a summary of lost-worktime injuries and illnesses in 1997, see "Lost-worktime injuries and illnesses decline from 1993 to 1997", The Editor's Desk. Additional information is available from news release USDL 99-102, "Lost-worktime Injuries and Illnesses: Characteristics and Resulting Time Away From Work, 1997."