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Study looks at job transfer, work restriction cases in six industries

Data show sprains, strains, tears most prevalent injury

Posted April 29, 2019

To learn more about case circumstances and worker characteristics for occupational injuries and illnesses that resulted in days of job transfer or work restriction, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) conducted a study focusing on six private industry subsectors, using data collected from 2014-2016.

The industries included:

  • Beverage and tobacco product manufacturing
  • General merchandise stores
  • Couriers and messengers
  • Waste management and remediation services
  • Hospitals
  • Accommodation

The study compares the case circumstances and worker characteristics of injuries and illnesses that require days away from work (DAFW) to recuperate and those that lead to days of job transfer or restriction only (DJTR) without time away from work for these industries.

Study highlights include:

  • In 2016, the most prevalent nature of injury or illness was sprains, strains, and tears for both DJTR and DAFW cases across all six industry subsectors.
  • Across all six industry subsectors, fractures and injuries to the head occurred at higher incidence rates of DAFW cases than DJTR cases.
  • The DJTR incidence rates were essentially the same in 2016 as in 2014 for cases in general merchandise stores, waste management and remediation services, and accommodation industry subsectors.
  • In beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, injuries and illnesses sustained by workers in age groups 25 to 44 more often resulted in DJTR cases than DAFW cases in 2016; however, for older age groups, there were either an equal or greater number of DAFW cases than DJTR cases.
  • Within the couriers and messengers subsector there were a greater number of DAFW cases than DJTR cases that occurred to motor vehicle operators in 2016, while there were a greater number of DJTR cases than DAFW cases that occurred to material-moving workers.

The BLS notes that over time, cases of job transfer or restriction have become more prevalent. In 1992, an estimated 622,300 DJTR cases accounted for 21 percent of the total days away from work, restricted activity, or job transfer (DART) cases. In 2016, an estimated 655,600 DJTR cases accounted for 42 percent of the total DART cases.

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