Work Injuries and Illnesses by Part of Body

Detailed nonfatal data over 2021-2022

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has transitioned from an annual to a biennial (every two years) publication schedule. The final publication of a single year of cases involving days away from work estimates was for reference year 2020. BLS now publishes detailed data covering 2021 and 2022 for Days Away from Work (DAFW)Days of Job Transfer or Restriction (DJTR), and Days Away from Work, Job Restriction, or Transfer (DART) cases.

The National Safety Council (NSC) analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data finds that body systems was the body part category most frequently affected by DAFW injuries and illnesses in 2021-2022, while upper extremities was the most frequent body part category affected by DART injuries and illnesses. The prevalence of body system injuries and illnesses is largely because of COVID-19 related cases (coded as Other diseases due to viruses, n.e.c.).  Body system related injuries and illnesses accounted for over 26.5% of the DAFW cases, while upper extremities accounted for 30.6% of DART cases in 2021-2022.

Regarding specific body parts, back-related injuries resulted in the most DAFW cases, while hand injuries resulted in the most DART cases, followed by back injuries and leg injuries. Across all lost time cases due to injuries and illnesses, the median number of days away from work per incident was 10, while the median number of DART days was 12 in 2021-2022.

Median DAFW/DART by body part:

  • Shoulder: 30/36
  • Knee: 19/26
  • Leg: 16/22
  • Wrist: 16/24
  • Arm: 13/21
  • Lower extremities 13/18

The data on nonfatal cases cover occupational injuries and illnesses and come from the BLS Survey of Occupational Injuries and Illnesses (SOII) for 2011-2022. From 2011 through 2020, annual estimates are available for the number of DAFW cases (with or without days of restricted work activity). Starting in 2021, biennial estimates are available for DAFW, DJTR, and DART cases. This page highlights both DAFW and DART estimates. The latest estimate period available reflects cases occurring in 2021 and 2022. The private sector nonfatal case data do not cover the self-employed, unpaid family workers, or federal, state, or local government employees.

Data for DART and DAFW cases are presented for the sex, age, occupation, and industry of the worker; and for the nature of the injury or illness, the source of the injury or illness, and the event or exposure that produced the injury or illness. For a more accurate comparison of injury and illness frequency, adjust the category “level of detail” filter to compare categories of similar scope.

  • Chart
  • Data Table
How to Use Injury Facts® Charts and Tables