Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Public Health

Major Professor

Raymond Harbison


CNAs, Healthcare workers, Musculoskeletal Inhuries, Nurses, Risk factors, Workers' Compensation


Musculoskeletal injuries lead to most claims even though needlestick injuries receive the most attention. In 2010, health expenditures in the United States neared $2.6 trillion. CNAs, orderlies, and attendants had the highest rates of musculoskeletal disorders of all occupations with an incidence of 249 per 10,000 compared to 34 per 10,000 for all workers. The financial burden of back injuries in the healthcare industry is estimated to add up to $20 billion annually. Data was extracted for cause of injury, nature of injury and body part injured. Extracted data was analyzed both descriptively and by logistic and linear regression using SAS version 9.2. Results were significant for falls, lifting, being struck and pushing and pulling as major causes for injury. Regarding the nature of injury, sprains and strains constituted the majority of claims. The lower back was the body part most commonly injured in a claim. It was concluded that emphasis must be placed on risk factors for musculoskeletal injuries such as falls, lifting, temporal and environmental factors, age and lifestyle factors rather than needlestick injuries.

Results from this study will be used to characterize risk factors for occupational injuries in CNAs and nurses, and to devise and implement preventive measures, including new legislation, to curb such injuries.