Occupational traumatic injuries among workers in health care facilities - United States, 2012-2014

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Apr 24;64(15):405-10.


In 2013, one in five reported nonfatal occupational injuries occurred among workers in the health care and social assistance industry, the highest number of such injuries reported for all private industries. In 2011, U.S. health care personnel experienced seven times the national rate of musculoskeletal disorders compared with all other private sector workers. To reduce the number of preventable injuries among health care personnel, CDC's National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), with collaborating partners, created the Occupational Health Safety Network (OHSN) to collect detailed injury data to help target prevention efforts. OHSN, a free, voluntary surveillance system for health care facilities, enables prompt and secure tracking of occupational injuries by type, occupation, location, and risk factors. This report describes OHSN and reports on current findings for three types of injuries. A total of 112 U.S. facilities reported 10,680 OSHA-recordable* patient handling and movement (4,674 injuries); slips, trips, and falls (3,972 injuries); and workplace violence (2,034 injuries) injuries occurring from January 1, 2012-September 30, 2014. Incidence rates for patient handling; slips, trips, and falls; and workplace violence were 11.3, 9.6, and 4.9 incidents per 10,000 worker-months,† respectively. Nurse assistants and nurses had the highest injury rates of all occupations examined. Focused interventions could mitigate some injuries. Data analyzed through OHSN identify where resources, such as lifting equipment and training, can be directed to potentially reduce patient handling injuries. Using OHSN can guide institutional and national interventions to protect health care personnel from common, disabling, preventable injuries.

MeSH terms

  • Accidental Falls / statistics & numerical data
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Health Facilities / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Personnel* / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Moving and Lifting Patients / adverse effects
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence / statistics & numerical data