Common Workplace Injuries and How To Prevent Them

Common Workplace Injuries and How To Prevent Them
  • Author: Fazal Umer
  • Posted On: April 12, 2023
  • Updated On: April 12, 2023

According to the National Safety Council, there is an employee injured on the job every seven seconds. Workplace injuries not only affect the employee but their colleagues and employer.

Fortunately, there are precautions that companies can put in place to help prevent these most common workplace injuries. Click here to speak with a workplace injury law professional. 

Slip and Fall Claims

Slip and fall claims are one of the most common workplace injuries. Slip and fall claims are a big risk for employees also. Falls, slips, and trips caused 211,640 incidents that led to missed work. The goods-producing industry, which includes manufacturing and construction, had a total amount of 49,620 falls. The construction industry accounts for 46.1% of fatal falls, slips, and trips.

Avoiding Slips, Trips, and Falls

To avoid falls, slips, and trips, use “wet floor” signs, clean spills immediately, place non-skid tape on steps and frequently used paths, and install handrails, safety nets, and personal fall arrest systems. Also properly using equipment like portable ladders and following the manufacturer’s instructions when assembling scaffoldings can also promote safety and help prevent injury.


Straining the back or neck is another common workplace injury. Strains can occur when employees try to lift supplies or delivery without the proper technique or equipment. Safety harnesses, back braces, lifting aids, and proper training on lifting techniques will help prevent injuries.

Repetitive Use Injuries

Repetitive use injuries occur because of administrative, manufacturing, and processing tasks. Workers typically miss two weeks away from work after these types of injuries. The goods-producing industry had the highest rate of repetitive use injuries. 

Repetitive Use Injury Prevention

Setting regular breaks and creating ergonomic workspaces helps prevent injury. Encouraging employees to maintain their physical health through yearly physicals and preventative health programs could also prevent long-term repetitive use injuries.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Scratches

Letter openers, box cutters, and sharp edges have been known to injure employees. These injuries can lead to a workers’ compensation claim. Proper training, and keeping office equipment and furniture in good condition can prevent unwanted lacerations.

Collisions and Crashes

Prime examples of work-related collisions and crashes include driving forklifts, sales reps visiting clients in personal or company cars, and trailer operators. Work-related collisions and crashes can be fatal or lead to debilitating injuries. If you’ve been involved in a work-related crash, speaking with an experienced personal injury law professional could be beneficial. 

How to Avoid Collisions and Crashes

Proper background checks on a candidate’s driving history, regular drug testing, and training on company equipment can help protect against collisions and crashes. Encouraging employees to take breaks, when fatigued after hours of driving on the road, can also prevent dangerous incidents and accidents from occurring. 

Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments

In 2019, harmful substances in the workplace caused the sixth most number of incidents reported, with 36,840 cases. However, the COVID-19 pandemic caused 424,360 incidents which was the number one reason that led to time away from work. 

Exposure to harmful substances can include exposure to electricity, temperature extremes, air, and water pressure change, radiation and noise, and other harmful substances. This also includes infectious diseases, viruses, and fungi – as in the case of COVID-19. 

How to Avoid Exposure to Harmful Substances or Environments

To avoid exposure to harmful substances or environments, some tips include requiring goggles, face masks, and respirators when working with hazardous materials, and maintaining proper ventilation in buildings. It’s also important to be cautious in areas where fumes can build up, storing chemicals and other substances properly, and providing ear protection for employees where sound reaches 85 dB or higher.  

Safety professionals and lawmakers suggest offering water and mandating rest breaks for employees working in extreme heat, and providing warming shelter for workers in extreme cold. Companies that are not remote should consider providing hand sanitizer and reviewing your company’s time-away policy when employees are sick and in need of rest and medical attention.

Workplace Incident Data 

According to the United States Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS), in 2021, employers reported 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, which was a decrease of 1.8% in 2020. 

While transportation incidents are fifth on the list with 41,010 incidents, it’s the most fatal workplace incident, with 1,038 deaths by roadway incidents. Transportation incidents aren’t limited to automobiles and these accidents involve aircraft, railways, animals, bicycles, and watercraft.

When employers take the necessary precautions to prevent workplace injuries, this protects their employees and helps to maintain a safe and productive work environment. Staying up-to-date with the latest safety measures and regulations is crucial, especially during times of crisis. By implementing best practices, companies can help ensure the well-being of their employees and minimize the risk of workplace injuries.

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Author: Fazal Umer

Fazal is a dedicated industry expert in the field of civil engineering. As an Editor at ConstructionHow, he leverages his experience as a civil engineer to enrich the readers looking to learn a thing or two in detail in the respective field. Over the years he has provided written verdicts to publications and exhibited a deep-seated value in providing informative pieces on infrastructure, construction, and design.