Repetitive motion results in longest work absences

March 30, 2004

Repetitive motion, such as grasping tools, scanning groceries, and typing, resulted in the longest absences from work among the leading events and exposures in 2002—a median of 23 days.

Median number of days away from work, by event or exposure leading to occupational injury or illness, 2002
[Chart data—TXT]

The next longest median absence in 2002 (14 days) was due to falls to lower levels, followed by fires and explosions, and transportation accidents (12 days each). Falls on the same level had a median of 9 days.

Note: Effective January 1, 2002, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) revised its requirements for recording occupational injuries and illnesses. These revised recordkeeping requirements include new rules for counting that rely on calendar days instead of workdays. This change affects the calculation of median days away from work and thus makes the data non-comparable with prior years.

These data are from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Additional information is available from "Lost-worktime Injuries and Illnesses: Characteristics and Resulting Time Away From Work, 2002" (PDF) (TXT), news release USDL 04-460.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Repetitive motion results in longest work absences on the Internet at (visited January 22, 2017).


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