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, 31 (2), 251-7

Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injury in the California Film and Motion Picture Industry

Epidemiology of Musculoskeletal Injury in the California Film and Motion Picture Industry

Nicholas A Kusnezov et al. Rev Environ Health.


Introduction: Musculoskeletal injury exerts a significant burden on US industry. The purpose of this study was to investigate the frequency and characteristics of musculoskeletal injuries in the California (CA) film and motion picture (FMP) industry which may result in unforeseen morbidity and mortality.

Methods: We reviewed the workers' compensation (WC) claims database of the Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California (WCIRB) and employment statistics through the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). We analyzed the frequency, type, body part affected, and cause of musculoskeletal injuries.

Results: From 2003 to 2009, there were 3505 WC claims of which 94.4% were musculoskeletal. In the CA FMP industry, the most common injuries were strains (38.4%), sprains (12.2%), and fractures (11.7%). The most common sites of isolated injury were the knee (18.9%), lower back (15.0%), and ankle (8.6%). Isolated musculoskeletal spine injuries represented 19.3% of all injuries. The most common causes of injury were work-directed activity (36.0%) and falls (25.5%).

Conclusion: We present the first report on the unique profile of musculoskeletal injury claims in the FMP industry. This data provides direction for improvement of workplace safety.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Yearly employment and risk of injury trends, 2003–2009. California (CA) employment across all industries remained relatively stable from 2003 to 2009 while CA film and motion picture (FMP employment increased dramatically, more than doubling from 2003 to 2009). Risk of injury in CA FMP decreased from 2003 to less than one-half that rate in 2009.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Injuries by body part in the California film and motion picture industry, 2003–2009. Lower extremity injuries were most common, followed by upper extremity, and then trunk injuries (excluding multiple injuries which constituted roughly one-quarter of all injuries).

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