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Temporal Factors and the Prevalence of Transient Exposures at the Time of an Occupational Traumatic Hand Injury

Lombardi, David A. PhD; Sorock, Gary S. PhD; Hauser, Russ MD, ScD; Nasca, Philip C. PhD; Eisen, Ellen A. ScD; Herrick, Robert F. ScD; Mittleman, Murray A. MD, DrPH

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: August 2003 - Volume 45 - Issue 8 - p 832-840
doi: 10.1097/01.jom.0000083030.56116.1a
Original Articles

Temporal factors and the prevalence of exposure to transient risk factors for occupational traumatic hand injury were analyzed among 1166 subjects participating in a case-crossover study. Temporal factors included time of injury and elapsed time to injury since the start of the work shift. Transient exposures included work equipment, work practice, and worker-related factors. The highest frequency of injury was observed from 08:00 am to 12:00 pm (54.6%), with a peak from 10:00 to 11:00 am (14.9%). The median time into the work shift for injury was 3.5 hours. Subjects injured 2 to 3 hours into their work shift most often reported using a machine, tool, or work material that performed differently than usual (23.9%). These results suggest that acute hand injuries occur earlier in the workday and safety programs should place increased vigilance on these times.

From the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, Hopkinton, Massachusetts (Dr Lombardi, Dr Sorock); Occupational Health Program, Department of Environmental Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Sorock, Dr Hauser, Dr Eisen, Dr Herrick, Dr Mittleman); Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, University of Massachusetts School of Public Health Sciences, Amherst, Massachusetts (Dr Lombardi, Dr Sorock, Dr Nasca); Department of Work Environment, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, Massachusetts (Dr Eisen); and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Mittleman).

Address correspondence to: David A. Lombardi, PhD, Researcher - Epidemiology, Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, 71 Frankland Road, Hopkinton, MA 01748; e-mail address:

Grant sponsor: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Grant number: R01 OH-03763-03.

©2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine