Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), often referred to as ergonomic injuries, are injuries or illnesses affecting the connective tissues of the body such as muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage or spinal disks. MSDs accounted for 29 percent of all workplace injuries requiring time away from work in 2007, compared to 30 percent of total days-away-from-work cases in 2006. This is according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Incidence rate and number of injuries and illnesses due to musculoskeletal disorders, selected occupations, 2007
[Chart data—TXT]

There were 333,760 MSDs in 2007; there was a decline of 23,400 cases (7 percent) from 2006 to 2007. The rate of MSD injuries declined 9 percent in 2007, from 39 cases per 10,000 workers in 2006 to 35 per 10,000 workers in 2007.

Nursing aides, orderlies and attendants had a MSD rate of 252 cases per 10,000 workers, a rate more than seven times the national MSD average for all occupations. Laborers and freight handlers had a MSD rate of 249 and light and delivery truck drivers had a MSD rate of 117.

The MSD rate for several of the major industry sectors decreased significantly from 2006. The MSD incident rate for mining decreased 55 percent (to 14), management of companies and enterprises decreased 32 percent (to 11), and construction decreased 16 percent (to 41).

This data is from the BLS Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities program. Additional information is available from "Non-fatal Occupational Injuries and Illnesses Requiring Days Away from Work, 2007," (PDF) (HTML) news release USDL 08-1716.