BLS: Stress injuries decline

BLS: Stress injuries decline

Stress injuries from repetitive typing and key entry are on the wane. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has reported a 15.6 percent drop between 1997 and 1998 in the number of keyboarding injuries that led to work absences.

The Center for Office Technology of Alexandria, Va., said the finding reduces the need to set ergonomic standards for information technology equipment.

'Disorders associated with repeated trauma, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, accounted for 4 percent of the 5.9 million workplace injuries and illnesses' in 1998, BLS said last month. 'They were, however, the dominant type of illness reported, making up 65 percent of the 392,000 total cases.'

All types of injuries resulting in lost work time beyond the day of the incident have declined each year since 1992. In contrast, the bureau said, injuries that merely restrict activity at work have been on the rise.

Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendinitis were among the injuries causing the highest median number of days absent in 1998'higher than for fractures or amputations. Strains and sprains continue to be the leading work-related injuries, BLS said.

The report is posted on the Web at www.bls.gov/news.release/osh.nws.htm.

'Susan M. Menke, Tony Lee Orr and Bill Murray

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