Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

Publication Date



Background: Occupational health is a concern in the workplace environment. Cases of occupational illness or injury could lead to lost workdays, a lower quality of life, chronic pain, and sometimes death. Air Force personnel perform unique functions that could have negative effects on their health.

Purpose: Identify the most common occupational illnesses and injuries among active duty United States Air Force (U.S.A.F.) personnel, determine rates of occupational illnesses and injuries in the Air Force by rank, and compare rates across Major Commands (MAJCOMS). Methods: A literature review was conducted on select occupational illnesses and injuries. A descriptive data analysis was performed at the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine on Wright-Patterson, Air Force Base using a pre-existing data set provided by the U.S.A.F.

Results: Among occupational illnesses, hearing loss was the most common occupational illness and handling objects was the greatest cause of occupational injury in the Air Force from 2006-2010. Enlisted personnel are at a greater risk of occupational illnesses and injuries compared to officers. Among MAJCOMs, Air Force Special Operations Command had the highest rate of occupational illness and Pacific Air Forces had the highest rate of occupational injury.

Conclusion: These results could be used to plan prevention programs for occupational health. No single illness or cause of injury should be ignored. However, greater focus could be tailored towards the occupational illnesses and injuries that are the most burdensome, those at most risk, and locations with the most occupational illness and injury.

Additional Files

mph_poster_mackenthun_kenneth.pdf (106 kB)

Included in

Public Health Commons