OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
U.S. Department of Labor
News Release USDL: 97-198
Thursday, June 12, 1997
Contact: Stephen Gaskill, (202)219-6091
Statement Of Labor Secretary Alexis M. Herman On Lost Worktime Injury Findings From BLS
There is no doubt that American workplaces have become safer since the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) was formed in 1971. Too many workers, however, are still injured on the job and must remain out of work in order to spend time to properly heal. New Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data provide surprising insight into who is being injured.
Carpal tunnel syndrome remains the most insidious workplace affliction -- half of all workers suffering with carpal tunnel syndrome missed 30 days or more of work. Women outnumbered men by almost three to one in carpal tunnel cases, but they were just as likely to receive those injuries on an assembly line as they were at a keyboard. In short, cumulative trauma disorders, which cost the American economy more than $100 billion annually, continue to take a severe toll on working women.
Earlier this year BLS reported that nursing homes and other personal care facilities are the third most-hazardous workplaces in the US. More than 82,000 workers lost time due to injuries and illnesses, and nearly seven out of eight of those injured were women. Nursing homes ranked first in the frequency of overexertion injuries with a rate four to five times the national rate -- and nurses aides lifting and moving patients account for a large portion of those injuries.
It is my intention to see that the Department of Labor takes appropriate steps to eliminate this appalling number of cumulative trauma injuries from the American workscene. OSHA's job is cut out for the agency, and I pledge my full support in helping to make all workplaces safer.
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