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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.

(C)2003The American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine