Back injuries prominent in work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2016
August 28, 2018
Musculoskeletal disorders are injuries or illnesses that result from overexertion or repetitive motion. They include soft-tissue injuries such as sprains, strains, tears, hernias, and carpal tunnel syndrome. Work-related musculoskeletal disorders that result in days away from work most commonly involve the back alone. In 2016, musculoskeletal disorders involving the back accounted for 38.5 percent of all work-related musculoskeletal disorders (134,550 back cases out of 349,050 total cases).
|Occupation||Back||Shoulder||Leg||Arm||Abdomen||Multiple parts||All Other|
Janitors and cleaners
Stock clerks and order fillers
Maintenance and repair workers
Heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers
Laborers and freight, stock, and material movers, hand
Nursing assistants experienced 10,330 back-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2016. Laborers and hand material movers experienced another 10,660 cases. These occupations accounted for 15.6 percent of all the back-related cases in 2016.
The most common body parts affected by musculoskeletal disorders vary by occupation. Among nursing assistants, more than half of their cases in 2016 affected the back. Compared with other occupations, heavy tractor-trailer truck drivers had a greater proportion of injuries that affected the shoulder (19.2 percent) and leg (16.3 percent).
These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see "Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2016." See our definitions for more information. Musculoskeletal disorders do not include impact events such as falls or struck by object.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Back injuries prominent in work-related musculoskeletal disorder cases in 2016 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2018/back-injuries-prominent-in-work-related-musculoskeletal-disorder-cases-in-2016.htm (visited September 20, 2019).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
- 25 years of Worker Injury, Illness, and Fatality Case Data
Examines detailed historical data on work-related injuries, illnesses, and fatal injuries.
- Occupational employment projections through the perspective of education and training
Examines employment, projected employment growth, and wages for occupations with different education and training requirements.
- Workers in Alternative Employment Arrangements
A look at independent contractors, on-call workers, temporary help agency workers, and workers provided by contract firms.
- Labor force characteristics of people with a disability
Examines the labor force characteristics of people with a disability and compares them with the characteristics of people with no disability.