Sprains, strains, and tears most frequent time-lost work injury
April 12, 1999
In 1996, approximately 44 percent of all occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States involving days away from work were sprains, strains, and tears. Although the number of sprains, strains, and tears fell between 1992 and 1996, such injuries have remained a relatively constant proportion of the total number of cases.
By industry, services accounted for the largest share of such injuries in 1996, followed by manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation and public utilities. By occupation, operators, fabricators, and laborers had the highest share of such injuries.
Overexertion was the major event or exposure for over half of all sprains, strains, and tears; the back was the part of the body most often affected. Containers and worker motion were the two leading sources of such injuries, each accounting for approximately one-fifth of the cases. The median number of days away from work for sprains, strains, and tears was six, or one day more than the median for all injuries and illnesses.
These data are a product of the BLS Safety and Health Statistics program. Additional information is available from "Putting a Strain on Workers’ Health" (PDF 26K), Compensation and Working Conditions, Spring 1999. Sprains, strains, and tears are defined as traumatic injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints caused by sudden wrenching, twisting, stretching, and ripping. The classification does not include tendonitis or bursitis, illnesses that generally occur over time as a result of repetitive activity.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Sprains, strains, and tears most frequent time-lost work injury on the Internet at http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/1999/apr/wk2/art01.htm (visited October 24, 2016).
Recent editions of Spotlight on Statistics
Workplace injuries and illnesses and employer costs for workers’ compensation
Workplace injury and illness data and the costs to employers for workers’ compensation in natural resources, construction, and maintenance occupations.
A look at the future of the U.S. labor force to 2060
Projected long-term trends in the growth, size, and composition of the labor force.
Union membership in the United States
Historical trends in union membership among employed wage and salary workers; union membership by a variety of demographic characteristics.
A look at healthcare spending, employment, pay, benefits, and prices
Spending on healthcare, current and projected employment in the industry, employer-provided healthcare benefits, healthcare prices, and pay for workers in healthcare occupations.
Self-employment in the United States
Trends in self-employment by various demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, including both the unincorporated and the incorporated self-employed, as well as data on paid employees who work for the self-employed.