U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Injury

Injuries can often be controlled through education, engineering and design of safety products, enactment and enforcement of policies and laws, economic incentives, and improvements in emergency care. Some examples include the design, oversight, and use of child safety seats, seatbelts, and passenger airbags, workplace regulations regarding safety practices, and tax incentives for fitting home pools with fences.

In 2008, unintentional falls were the leading cause of nonfatal injury treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments among women of all ages, and rates generally increased with age. Women aged 65 years and older had the highest rate of injury due to unintentional falls (65.0 per 1,000 women), compared to 21.2 per 1,000 women aged 18–34 and 20.4 per 1,000 women aged 35–44 years. However, women aged 65 years and older had the lowest rates of each of the other four leading causes of nonfatal injuries, while women aged 18–34 years had the highest rates. Unintentional injuries sustained by motor vehicle occupants were the second leading cause of injury among 18- to 34-year-olds (17.5 per 1,000 women), while unintentional overexertion—which can be due to strenuous or repetitive motions such as lifting—was the second leading cause of injury among women aged 35–44 and 45–64 years (12.8 and 8.8 per 1,000 women, respectively).

In 2008, there were nearly 1.1 million nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the United States. While males have higher overall rates of occupational injury than females (124.8 versus 97.3 per 10,000 workers, respectively; data not shown), the distribution of injuries by sex varies by occupational sector. In 2008, females accounted for 68.2 percent of injuries occurring in management, professional, and related occupations, despite making up only 51.7 percent of the workforce in that sector. Conversely, females were somewhat underrepresented in injuries to workers in production, transportation, and material moving and farming, fishing, and forestry.

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