Most Common Injuries and Causes of Accidents at Work

Workplace injuries and accidents are the near the top of every employer’s list of concerns. It also impacts employees’ physical, emotional and financial wellbeing. They also financially burden employers, who pay all of the medical costs related to a workplace injury, together with some portion of an injured employee’s pay. Beside these direct costs, workplace injuries also produce such indirect costs for employers as hiring temporary employees, lost productivity, quality disruptions and damage to a company’s employee engagement and external reputation.


On the Job Violent Acts

Despite increased security measures and limiting office access to individuals who have a legitimate reason to be on the premises, innocent victims are often involved when estranged spouses, disgruntled former employees or even total strangers with a vendetta show up with an intent to commit harm. Managers and workers must likewise stay sensitive to suspicious mail or packages, phone threats and evidence of any security violations. Some are caused by office politics and other arguments have led to serious physical injuries.

Tips: Provide safety education for employees so they know what conduct is not acceptable, what to do if they witness or are subjected to workplace violence, and how to protect themselves. Create communication channels for reporting suspicious activity.

Secure the workplace. Where appropriate to the business, install video surveillance, extra lighting, and alarm systems and minimize access by outsiders through identification badges, electronic keys, and guards.

Repetitive Motion


One of those less obvious but definitely harmful ones in the long run. Repetitive motions such as typing and using the computer for long number of hours can strain muscles and tendons causing back pain, vision problems, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Tips: Employee training and the use of proper ergonomic equipment can help keep these incidents low.


Machine Entanglement / Caught in Equipment

Typically occur in a factory where heavy equipment and machinery are used. Loose clothing, shoes, jewelry, fingers and unbound hair may become caught in machinery. Tips: Provide protective barriers/equipment and train employees on how to recognize and secure potential entanglement hazards for safety.


Vehicle Accidents

Employees who drive for business purposes are often injured in auto accidents, some of which can be fatal.

Tips: Employee Safe-Driver training and employer safe driving policies are likely to reduce accidents.


Walking Into

This happens when a person accidentally runs into concrete objects such as walls, doors, cabinets, glass windows, table, chairs etc. Head, knee, neck, and foot injuries are common results.

Tips: Employee’s diligence and employer focus on keeping the work environment free from hazards are key to preventing these types of injuries.


Falling/Toppling Objects

Objects that fall from shelves or dropped by another person can cause very serious injuries. Head injuries are a common result of this type of accident. Workplace injuries also can be caused by heavy objects such as supplies and file boxes that are stacked on high shelves and are shifted precariously to the edge each time they are put back or the structure gets bumped.

Tips: Proper personal protection and gear usage such as a hard hat, can be instrumental in keeping the employee safe.


Falling from Heights

man fell from height at workplace

Falling from an elevated area such as roofs, ladders, and stairways.  It can be caused by slip and fall accidents or due to faulty equipment.

Tips: These types of accidents can be reduced by the use of proper personal protection gear, training and employee diligence.



banana peel on floor

This pertains to falls on wet and slippery floors or trips over something lying on the floor. Office kitchens and break rooms are common places for slips to occur because of the number of liquids that get splashed there and are subsequently not cleaned up. Linoleum, hardwood and tile flooring surfaces are particularly hazardous after they have been mopped or waxed. Poorly lit hallways and stairs are danger spots, too, because they obscure the ability to see what is underfoot.

Tips: Attention to what is going on around them is required of employees and employers will have safety guidelines to ensure spills are promptly cleaned and no debris is present which can be dangerous. Another consideration is the type of footwear worn by employees.



It occurs when the physical effort of a worker who lifts, pulls, pushes, holds, carries, wields or throws an object results in an injury. The object being handled is often heavier than the weight that a worker should be handling or the object is handled improperly. For example, lifting from a shelf that’s too high, or in a space that’s cramped.

Assess the weight of the load (by observing or pushing). Get help with heavy loads. Tips: Plan the lift (How much am I lifting? – Where is it going? – What is in the way? – What is the surface like between me and my destination)



stressed woman

If someone is pushed or pushes his/herself beyond reasonable limits to stay on top of workload, the results often are physical and mental exhaustion. This translates to impaired judgment, slower reflexes in operating machinery or motor vehicles, a delayed response to emergency situations and inattention to details and instructions.

Tips: Design working hours to allow for good quality sleep and enough recovery time between work days or shifts for travelling, eating, washing and sleeping.



Job security, finances, health issues and anxiety about personal relationships all factor into the stress equation. When an employee’s mind is too distracted by real or perceived threats, he is not only more likely to make mistakes that could cause injury but also invites an increased risk of a heart attack, stroke or hypertension.

Tips: Move your body frequently and don’t sit for long hours. Make positive face-to-face connection with other people a priority. When you can’t change the stressor, learn to avoid, alter, adapt, or accept. Do something you enjoy every day. Get all the restful sleep that you need to feel your best


Hazardous Materials

Hazardous Materials can result in burns, explosions, respiratory diseases, blindness and skin infections.

Tips: Protective clothing, eye wear and gloves are mandatory for employees whose jobs require them to be around hazardous materials, chemicals and toxic waste.



Opening a door too quickly or turning a corner too fast are the frequent setups for unintended collisions with co-workers. While it may not be with enough force to knock one or the other unconscious, the potential for injury escalates if there are hot liquids, sharp implements or heavy objects involved. Leaving file drawers pulled all the way out is as dangerous at shin level as chin level, especially if a co-worker won’t see it until the point of impact.

Tips: Post signs regarding proper safety procedures in noticeable places and in spaces where those specific procedures should be practiced.


A proactive strategy to prevent on-the-job injuries can help protect against disruptions and high costs associated with the absence or loss of a critical employee. Help avoid these top workplace injuries by creating a culture of safety that lets employees know that taking precautions is a top priority.

When an accident first occurs, the number one thing is to report it immediately. Some employees don’t think to report an incident if there isn’t serious injury. In reality, every accident should be reported. An injury that seems minor when it first happens can end up being more serious down the line. The second reason it’s important to report any injury immediately is because it indicates a hazard that should be addressed. Even if the employee wasn’t injured in any serious way, reporting the incident can give the employer information to make a protocol change that will prevent future accidents.

Identify the appropriate actions to reduce the number of injuries and minimize employee disabilities from workplace accidents. Training, diligence and proper safety equipment are instrumental elements to reducing workplace accidents and injuries, but when it comes to bringing workers home safe, it is not enough. Education is what takes workplace safety to the next level.

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