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32 percent of nonfatal injuries resulting in days away from work treated in emergency room in 2019

August 26, 2021

An estimated 285,240 private industry workers were treated in an emergency room (ER) following a nonfatal workplace injury or illness in 2019, accounting for 32.1 percent of all private sector incidents that resulted in days away from work. Workers injured or made ill through a fall on the same level (56,530 cases), having been struck by an object (54,090 cases), or musculoskeletal disorders also known as ergonomic injury (47,280 cases) accounted for a combined 55.4 percent of ER visits in 2019.

Nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses resulting in days away from work, treated with or without emergency room visits, private industry, by selected event or exposure, 2019
Event or exposure Emergency room
visits only
In-patient
overnight
hospitalizations
(with or
without
ER visits)
Without
medical
treatment
facility visit
  Total cases  

Musculoskeletal disorders

47,280 3,610 215,640 266,530

Fall on same level

56,530 7,850 88,760 153,140

Struck by object

54,090 5,840 74,690 134,620

Overexertion in lifting or lowering

13,990 1,320 71,430 86,740

Transportation incidents

22,220 6,300 20,910 49,430

Fall to lower level

18,900 6,210 22,930 48,040

Struck against object

17,180 1,370 27,700 46,250

Slips, trips without fall

10,330 370 28,000 38,700

Exposure to harmful substances or environments

15,160 2,750 18,930 36,840

Caught in object, equipment, material

16,830 3,590 13,600 34,020

Intentional injury by other person

8,280 680 11,900 20,870

Repetitive motion involving microtasks

1,310 260 15,590 17,160

Animal and insect related incidents

5,290 1,900 7,200 14,390

Injury by person unintentional or intent unknown

3,020 150 5,990 9,160

Fires, explosions

870 470 360 1,700

Note: Total cases consists of those that result in days away from work with or without job transfer or restriction. The number of incidents displayed exceed the 2019 private industry total of 888,220 cases because musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are defined as a hybrid of events or exposures and natures of injury and illness according to the OIICS 2.01 structure.

The percentage of private nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses requiring ER visit only varied from 7.6 percent to 49.5 percent among the selected events or exposures displayed.

About 49.1 percent of roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicles were treated in an ER, as were 49.5 percent of events where a worker was caught in an object, equipment or material. The percentage of cases involving an ER visit only for repetitive motion involving microtasks and for musculoskeletal disorders were 7.6 percent and 16.1 percent, respectively.

These data are from the Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. To learn more, see "Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries and Illnesses — 2019." Also see data on nonfatal medical treatment facility visits. The Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses does not consider urgent care facilities, health units (within an establishment), infirmaries, or clinics to be emergency rooms.

SUGGESTED CITATION

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, 32 percent of nonfatal injuries resulting in days away from work treated in emergency room in 2019 at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2021/32-percent-of-nonfatal-injuries-resulting-in-days-away-from-work-treated-in-emergency-room-in-2019.htm (visited October 19, 2021).

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