The Most Common Workplace Injuries Aren't Major Accidents

When many people think of workplace injuries, something major like a forklift accident comes to mind. However, data shows that the majority of workplace accidents aren't actually that dramatic. In fact, many of them are everyday occurrences that can happen to anyone. However, these seemingly minor mishaps can still cause significant harm to both employees and the employer.

Top Workplace Injuries

Each year, the Department of Labor and Bureau Statistics releases the top injuries that resulted in worker's compensation claims for the previous year. Interestingly, the injuries don't really change that much from year to year, and they aren't life-threatening accidents or chemical spills. In fact, most injuries are due to overexertion, falls and accidental trips. In 2014, the top injuries were:

Falls on same level 
Being struck by an object or equipment
Falls to lower level
Other exertions or bodily reactions
Roadway incidents involving motorized land vehicle
Slipping or tripping without falling
Being caught in or compressed by equipment or objects
Repetitive motions involving micro-tasks
Being struck against an object or equipment

Avoiding Workplace Injuries

Preventing these types of mishaps is a two-fold process. It requires adequate employee training as well as modification of the workplace to reduce or eliminate the chance or injury. With regards to safety training, it's clear that employees need reminders on the proper way to lift, carry and move objects around the workplace. Back injuries caused by overexertion don't just happen on the loading dock. They also happen when receptionists attempt to carry supply boxes that are too heavy. Employers should conduct an annual training class that provides tips on preventing these commonplace injuries. 

Modifying the Workplace 

In most cases, workplace modifications will also need to be made. For example, to prevent slips and falls, modify all not-carpeted areas to include carpet or slip-resistant flooring. Additionally, remove all tripping hazards from working areas, such as unsecured cords and even boxes and work supplies. If inadequate storage results in piles of supplies near walkways, install shelving or another solution to reduce the risk of accidental injury.

Need insurance for You, Your Family or Your Business?
We can match you to a qualified, local insurance expert!
Further Reading
You've heard the old adage about people not learning from history being doomed to repeat it? This is certainly applicable to the safety programs of businesses. If accidents are to be avoided, the business must learn how and why they happen in the fir...
An employee injury brings production to a complete halt.  Concerned coworkers rush to aid their colleague.  Work ends for hours as supervisors manage care for the injured, investigate, and document the incident. This scene is the employers'...
According to statistics from the United States Department of Labor, 40% of industrial fatalities and 47% of individual injuries received on the job are due to intoxication from alcohol. This combined with the fact that businesses suffer related losse...
As people retire later, the workforce keeps aging. This trend has been a concern for businesses because the conventional wisdom holds that older workers are more vulnerable to costly injuries, driving up Workers Comp rates. However, new research fro...
Employers, did you know that 73.9 percent of all workplace injuries and fatalities relate to only five preventable reasons? According to a 2010 survey, these reasons, and they're part of the total of the cost is: Overexertion These injuries o...