According to estimates by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), more than a million workers in the United States will lose time from the job in 2019 because of a work-related injury. The number may seem staggering, but it’s down more than 70% from just 20 years ago. Nonetheless, the workplace can still be a pretty dangerous place.
The Most Common Workplace Accidents and Injuries
Regardless of where you work, whether it’s an office, a warehouse, retail or a construction site, the single most frequent cause of injury on the job is a slip and fall. That includes falls from heights, such as ladders, scaffold, platforms, roofs, cranes and upper levels on construction projects.
Other common causes of workplace injury include:
- Lifting, carrying, pushing or pulling injuries—Employees frequently attempt to take on too much weight or fail to use proper techniques for moving large or heavy objects.
- Repetitive stress or motion injury—This type of injury can affect a worker in any occupation, from a cashier to a machine operator to a computer programmer. It may involve motion or the lack of motion—standing in the same place for 8 hours can lead to debilitating injury.
- Collisions—Crashes involving heavy construction equipment, forklifts and other motorized vehicles.
- Falling objects—On a construction site, it can be a tool, piece of construction material, bit of refuse or debris, or even another person. In warehouses or retail, overstocked shelves and often be the source of serious injury.
- Injuries caused by lack of training or supervision—Many job-related injuries occur because an employee attempts to operate equipment or machinery, or use tools, without receiving adequate training, instruction or supervision.
- Inhalation of toxic fumes or exposure to toxic substances