Common Types of Workplace Injuries (2023)

Workplace injuries can occur in any industry, from office settings to construction sites. These unfortunate incidents can range from minor cuts and bruises to severe accidents resulting in long-term disabilities.

According to the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada, 227, 271 workers reported lost time due to different work-related injuries from 2000 to 2021, indicating the extent of workplace accidents.

Understanding the common types of workplace injuries is crucial for employers and employees to create a safe and secure work environment.
Identifying and being aware of the prevalent workplace injuries is essential because it enables us to take proactive measures to prevent them.

By recognizing potential hazards, we can implement safety protocols, provide proper training, and equip employees with the necessary tools to avoid accidents. Hazard recognition training can help employees understand and identify potential hazards.

In this article, we delve into the common types of workplace injuries that employees are susceptible to across various industries.Whether you are an employer seeking to enhance workplace safety or an employee interested in safeguarding your well-being, this article will provide valuable insights and practical tips for preventing common workplace injuries.

Together, let's create a culture of safety and well-being in our workplaces.

10 Types of Common Workplace Injuries

Workplace injuries can lead to serious consequences so it is important to understand the 10 types of common workplace injuries.

  1. Slips, falls, and trips
  2. Repetitive motion injuries
  3. Strains and sprains
  4. Cuts and lacerations
  5. Electrical injuries
  6. Burns
  7. Respiratory problems
  8. Hearing loss
  9. Eye injuries
  10. Accidental injuries

Let’s explore each of the injuries in detail so you can understand how these injuries are caused and the respective preventive approaches.

1. Slips, Falls, and Trips

Common Types of Workplace Injuries (1)

Slips, falls, and trips are among the most common workplace injuries. They can occur due to wet or slippery surfaces, uneven floors, cluttered walkways, or inadequate lighting.

These accidents can result in sprains, fractures, head injuries, or back problems. To prevent such incidents, employers should maintain clean and dry floors, install proper signage, remove obstacles, and provide non-slip footwear to employees.
Regular fall prevention training, site inspections, and prompt repairs of any potential hazards are also crucial for maintaining a safe work environment.

2. Repetitive Motion Injuries

Repetitive motion injuries, also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), are caused by repeated tasks or movements. Common examples include carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, or bursitis.
These injuries often affect individuals who perform repetitive actions like typing, assembly line work, or lifting heavy objects.
Ergonomic assessments, proper training, regular breaks, and implementing rotation of tasks can help minimise the risk of such injuries. Employees should also be encouraged to practise good posture and use ergonomic equipment to reduce strain on their muscles and joints.

3. Strains and Sprains

Common Types of Workplace Injuries (2)

Strains and sprains are injuries that affect muscles, tendons, and ligaments. They can occur due to lifting heavy objects, overexertion, or improper body mechanics.
These injuries often affect the back, shoulders, and limbs. To prevent strains and sprains, employees should be trained in proper lifting techniques, and mechanical aids like lifting equipment should be provided when necessary.
Stretching exercises, warm-up routines, and ergonomic adjustments to workstations can also help reduce the risk of these injuries.

4. Cuts and Lacerations

Cuts and lacerations are common workplace injuries that can occur in various industries. Sharp objects, tools, or machinery pose a significant risk if not handled carefully.
Employers should provide appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as cut-resistant gloves, safety goggles, and guards for machinery.
Regular equipment maintenance and proper training on safe handling procedures are vital for preventing these injuries.
Additionally, maintaining a clean and organised workspace can help reduce the chances of accidents caused by sharp objects or debris.

5. Electrical Injuries

Common Types of Workplace Injuries (3)

Electrical injuries can occur when employees come into contact with live wires, faulty electrical equipment, or inadequate grounding. These injuries can range from minor shocks to severe burns and electrocution.

Employers should ensure that electrical systems are regularly inspected, and employees receive proper training on electrical safety protocols.
Implementing lockout/tagout procedures, using insulated tools, and providing appropriate PPE are essential preventive measures.

6. Burns

Burns can result from exposure to heat, chemicals, or electrical sources. They can cause varying degrees of damage to the skin and underlying tissues.
Employers should provide training on handling hazardous substances, ensuring proper storage and labelling. Implementing fire safety measures by offering fire extinguisher training focusing on sprinkler systems, and evacuation plans, is crucial.
Employees should also be equipped with appropriate protective clothing, including gloves, aprons, and face shields, depending on the nature of their work.

7. Respiratory Problems

Respiratory problems can arise from exposure to airborne substances like dust, fumes, gases, or chemicals. These can lead to asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or occupational lung diseases.
Employers must assess workplace air quality, provide proper ventilation systems, and offer respiratory protection, such as masks or respirators.
Regular monitoring, employee training on the proper use of respiratory equipment, offering confined space training, and adherence to safety guidelines are essential for preventing respiratory problems.

8. Hearing Loss

Hearing loss is a common workplace injury that occurs due to prolonged exposure to loud noise levels. Industries such as construction, manufacturing, and entertainment are particularly susceptible.

Continuous exposure to high decibel levels can lead to permanent damage to the inner ear, resulting in hearing impairment or complete loss.
To prevent hearing loss, employers should implement engineering controls like sound barriers, provide hearing protection devices (such as earmuffs or earplugs), and conduct regular noise level assessments.

Additionally, educating employees about the risks of noise exposure and promoting the use of hearing protection can significantly reduce the incidence of this injury.

9. Eye injuries

Eye injuries are another prevalent workplace hazard, particularly in industries involving tasks like welding, grinding, or handling chemicals.
Flying debris, chemical splashes, or exposure to intense light can cause eye injuries ranging from minor irritations to severe damage or vision loss.

Employers should enforce the use of appropriate eye protection, such as safety goggles or face shields, provide training on proper handling procedures, and maintain a clean and hazard-free work environment.
Regular eye examinations and immediate medical attention in case of an injury are crucial for preserving vision and preventing long-term consequences.

10. Accidental injuries

Accidental injuries encompass a broad category of unexpected incidents that can occur in the workplace, including slips, falls, machinery accidents, being struck by objects, or vehicle-related incidents.
These injuries can vary widely in severity and can result in fractures, concussions, or even fatalities.
Employers should prioritise a comprehensive safety program that includes risk assessments, employee training, regular equipment maintenance, and the implementation of safety protocols.

Some common accident prevention trainings include:

  1. Aerial lift training
  2. Crane operator training
  3. Overhead crane training
  4. Forklift operator training
  5. Crane operator training

Emphasizing a safety culture that encourages reporting and addressing near-misses can help identify potential hazards and prevent accidents before they occur.

Regular safety audits, effective communication channels, and a commitment to continuous improvement are vital to reducing accidental injuries in the workplace.

Frequently Asked Question

How to prevent workplace injuries?

Implementing comprehensive safety training, offering proper safety programs, enforcing safety protocols, and maintaining a hazard-free work environment can help in preventing workplace injuries.

How much is the worker's injury fine in Canada?

The amount of the workers' injury fine in Canada varies depending on the specific violation and jurisdiction.

What are the legal and financial consequences of workplace injuries?

The legal and financial consequences of workplace injuries can include workers' compensation claims, potential lawsuits, fines, increased insurance premiums, and loss of productivity.

What is the most common type of injury in the workplace?

Slips, trips, and falls are the most common type of injuries in the workplace.

Final Word

Understanding the common types of workplace injuries is vital for creating a safe and secure work environment.
By identifying these risks and implementing preventive measures, such as proper training, safety protocols, and the provision of personal protective equipment, employers can reduce the occurrence of workplace injuries.

Taking proactive steps not only protects the well-being of employees but also minimises the legal and financial consequences associated with such incidents.

Remember, creating a culture of safety and prioritising the health of workers is a shared responsibility that leads to a more productive and thriving workplace for all.

Let's strive towards injury-free workplaces and ensure the well-being of every individual on the job.


What are 10 common workplace injuries? ›

10 of the most common workplace accidents and injuries
  • Slips, trips and falls. ...
  • Muscle strains. ...
  • Being hit by falling objects. ...
  • Repetitive strain injury. ...
  • Crashes and collisions. ...
  • Cuts and lacerations. ...
  • Inhaling toxic fumes. ...
  • Exposure to loud noise.
Jun 19, 2022

What are the most common injuries in the workplace? ›

Revealed: The 5 Most Common Accidents In The Workplace
  • Slips, trips and falls. Falling over in general accounts for a large number of workplace injuries. ...
  • Manual work accidents. ...
  • Burns. ...
  • Vehicle collisions. ...
  • Repetitive motion injury.

What are the common types of workplace accidents injuries? ›

Common Types of Workplace Accidents
  • Lacerations and bruising.
  • Broken bones.
  • Ligament sprains and tears.
  • Tendon and muscle strains and tears.
  • Herniated discs.
  • Whiplash injuries.
  • Repetitive stress injuries.
  • Neck and back injuries.

What is the most common injury type OSHA? ›

The most common work injuries are slips, trips, and falls, overexertion, and contact with equipment. All of these injuries are mostly preventable by taking the proper precautions and adhering to OSHA's guidelines.

What are the top 10 most common injuries? ›

  1. Patellofemoral Syndrome. The majority of sports injuries involve the lower body, particularly knee injuries.
  2. Shoulder Injury. ...
  3. Tennis or Golf Elbow. ...
  4. Hamstring Strain. ...
  5. Sciatica. ...
  6. Shin Splints. ...
  7. Groin Pull. ...
  8. Concussion. ...

What are the 7 common injuries? ›

Top 7 Most Common Sport Injuries
  • Knee Injury. About 55% of sports injuries occur in the knee. ...
  • ACL Tear. Your anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is responsible for connecting your thigh to your shinbone at your knee. ...
  • Tennis or Golf Elbow. ...
  • Shin Splints. ...
  • Groin Pull. ...
  • Sciatica. ...
  • Hamstring Strain.

What are the 5 most common injuries? ›

Here's a look at the top five most common sports injuries, how to treat them and what you can do to prevent future injuries.
  • Sprains. ...
  • Strains. ...
  • Fractures. ...
  • Concussions. ...
  • Overuse injuries. ...
  • Preventing sports injuries.

What are the 5 types of injuries? ›

Let's take a look at some common types of injuries and how they affect your body.
  • Bruises. A bruise or muscle contusion can result when you fall or hit a hard surface or piece of equipment. ...
  • Sprains. ...
  • Strains. ...
  • Burns. ...
  • Fractures. ...
  • Animal Bites. ...
  • Urgent Care for Sports Injuries in Rochester, NY.
Nov 26, 2021

What is the most common cause of injury in the workplace? ›

Slips, Trips or Falls on same level

Negligence is quite often the reason for these accidents, with incorrect equipment, unsafe environments and poor direction being the main causes.

What are the 8 common causes of workplace accidents? ›

8 Common Causes of Workplace Accidents
  • Lifting. Many employees are prone to sprain, strain or tear a muscle by virtue of lifting an object that is too heavy for them to lift on their own. ...
  • Fatigue. ...
  • Dehydration. ...
  • Poor Lighting. ...
  • Hazardous Materials. ...
  • Acts of Workplace Violence. ...
  • Trips and Falls. ...
  • Stress.

What are 4 of the 5 most common causes of workplace accidents? ›

With this in mind, in this blog post, we will explore the five most common reasons why injuries occur in the workplace.
  • 1) Overexertion and tiredness. ...
  • 2) Slips, trips and falls. ...
  • 3) Distractions. ...
  • 4) Messy work environments. ...
  • 5) Cutting corners.

What are four most common types of workplace accidents? ›

Top 5 most common workplace injuries and how to avoid them.
  1. Trips, Slips And Falls. ...
  2. Being Struck By Or Caught In Moving Machinery. ...
  3. Vehicle Related Accidents. ...
  4. Fire And Explosions. ...
  5. Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries.

What are the three most common workplace injuries? ›

These injuries include the following:
  • Slips and Falls. Slips and falls are a large liability to a company. ...
  • Strains. One of the most common workplace injuries is employees straining their back or neck. ...
  • Repetitive Use Injuries. ...
  • Cuts. ...
  • Collisions and Crashes.

What are the three common injury classifications? ›

Did you know that most athletic injuries can be boiled down into three main categories? Acute, Overuse, and Chronic.

What is the list of OSHA injury types? ›

The OSHA 300 Log requires employers to check one of 6 boxes to categorize the injury/illness: (1) injury (2) skin disorder (3) respiratory condition (4) poisoning (5) hearing loss (6) all other illnesses. There are spaces to record days of job transfer or work restriction, as well as days away from work.

What are the 9 types of injuries? ›

Types of sports injuries
  • Sprains. Overstretching or tearing the ligaments results in a sprain. ...
  • Strains. Overstretching or tearing muscles or tendons results in a sprain. ...
  • Knee injuries. ...
  • Swollen muscles. ...
  • Achilles tendon rupture. ...
  • Fractures. ...
  • Dislocations. ...
  • Rotator cuff injury.
Nov 10, 2018

What is a common injury? ›

Common injuries include bruises, sprains, strains, joint injuries and nose bleeds. Medical investigation is important, as leaving an injury untreated can have far more severe consequences.

What are the most common accidents and injuries? ›

Here are 10 of the most common accidents that can happen in the home and how to deal with them:
  • 1) Falling objects. ...
  • 2) Trips and Falls. ...
  • 3) Bruises. ...
  • 4) Sprains. ...
  • 5) Cuts. ...
  • 6) Burns. ...
  • 7) Choking. ...
  • 8) Poisoning.

What are 5 minor injuries? ›

Minor Injuries
  • Cuts and Lacerations.
  • Bruises.
  • Minor Dislocations.
  • Foreign Bodies.
  • Minor Head Injury.
  • Minor Trauma to Body including hands / limbs / feet.
  • Eye Injury.
  • Burns and Scalds.

What are 5 chronic injuries? ›

Chronic injury
  • Stress fractures.
  • Tennis elbow.
  • Shin splints.
  • Runner's knee.
  • Heel inflammation.
  • Ankle sprain.
  • Groin pull.
  • Hamstring strain.
Oct 16, 2020

What are the four types of injuries? ›

Four of the most common phrases that get used to describe someone's workplace injury are:
  • Permanent total disability, or PTD,
  • Permanent partial disability, or PPD,
  • Temporary total disability, or TTD, and.
  • Temporary partial disability, or TPD.
Jan 8, 2020

What are the five causes of accidents at work? ›

According to Safety Partners. Ltd., shortcuts, overconfidence, poor housekeeping, starting a job without complete information, mental distraction, lack of preparation, and neglecting safety procedures are the seven leading causes of workplace accidents.

What are the top 3 injury hazards? ›

The National Safety Council (NSC) says that the top three leading causes of work-related injuries are overexertion, bodily reaction and slips, trips, and falls.

What are the top 4 causes of injuries in the workplace? ›

Being aware of the injuries that occur most frequently allows organisations to focus on the risks and work to improve them.
  • #1 Slips, Trips and Falls. ...
  • #2 Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI) ...
  • #3 Mental Injuries. ...
  • #4 Muscular Handling Injuries. ...
  • #5 Machinery and Equipment Injuries. ...
  • Look for Patterns.
Mar 1, 2023

What causes 90% of all workplace injuries? ›

According to recent studies, 80-90 percent of serious injuries are caused by human error.

What is the most common cause of injury? ›

The top three leading causes of preventable injury-related death – poisoning, motor vehicle, and falls – account for over 86% of all preventable deaths. No other preventable cause of death—including suffocation, drowning, fires and burns, and natural or environmental disasters—accounts for more than 5% of the total.

What are the three 3 basic causes of accidents in the workplace discuss? ›

There are three basic causes of workplace accidents: chance occurrences, unsafe conditions, and employees' unsafe acts. Chance occurrences (such as walking past a tree just when a branch falls) are more or less beyond management's control. We will therefore focus on unsafe conditions and unsafe acts.

Can you identify 3 possible causes of accidents in the workplace? ›

Consistently one of the leading causes of workplace injuries, trips and falls continue to be a major problem. Slippery floors, improper footwear, rushing employees, and weather conditions all contribute to trip and fall hazards.

What are the different types of injuries? ›

Other common types of injuries include:
  • Animal bites.
  • Bruises.
  • Burns.
  • Dislocations.
  • Electrical injuries.
  • Fractures (broken bones)
  • Sprains and strains.
Jul 23, 2014

How common are workplace injuries? ›

On average, 2.8 out of 100 workers in the U.S are injured in workplace accidents every year. With 2.6 million nonfatal workplace accidents and injuries occurring yearly across the nation's private employment industry, about 2.8 people out of 100 get injured at work, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

What are 5 types of workplace hazards and examples of associated injuries? ›

What are the 5 major hazards in the workplace?
  • Falls and Falling Objects.
  • Chemical Exposure.
  • Fire Hazards.
  • Electrical Hazards.
  • Repetitive Motion Injury.
Nov 13, 2019

What is one third of all workplace injuries? ›

Manual handling causes over a third of all workplace injuries, including musculoskeletal disorders (injuries to arms, legs and joints, and repetitive strain injuries).

How many injuries are there in the workplace? ›

3. There are about 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses annually. Occupational injuries are a commonplace occurrence, with 340 million occupational accidents happening every year.

What are the two basic injury types? ›

There are two major types of injuries: acute and chronic.

What is OSHA definition of workplace injury? ›

You must consider an injury or illness to be work-related if an event or exposure in the work environment either caused or contributed to the resulting condition or significantly aggravated a pre-existing injury or illness.

How does OSHA define an injury? ›

An injury or illness is an abnormal condition or disorder. Injuries include cases such as, but not limited to, a cut, fracture, sprain, or amputation. Illnesses include both acute and chronic illnesses, such as, but not limited to, a skin disease, respiratory disorder, or poisoning.

What are the four types of physical hazards OSHA 10? ›

There are five main classes of physical hazard namely Explosive, Flammable, Oxidising, Gases under Pressure and Corrosive to metals.

What is the #1 cause of office employee injuries? ›

Falling down is not only the most common office accident, it is also responsible for causing the most disabling injuries according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In fact, office workers are 2 to 2.5 times more likely to suffer a disabling injury from a fall than non-office workers.

What are the top 2 injuries at work? ›

Top 5 most common workplace injuries and how to avoid them
  1. Trips, Slips And Falls. ...
  2. Being Struck By Or Caught In Moving Machinery. ...
  3. Vehicle-Related Accidents. ...
  4. Fire And Explosions. ...
  5. Repetitive Stress and Overexertion Injuries.

What are the OSHA injury types? ›

The OSHA 300 Log requires employers to check one of 6 boxes to categorize the injury/illness: (1) injury (2) skin disorder (3) respiratory condition (4) poisoning (5) hearing loss (6) all other illnesses. There are spaces to record days of job transfer or work restriction, as well as days away from work.

What are the top 3 causes of major injuries at work? ›

We've put together the top 5 most common injury at work cases to help you stay alert and avoid serious injury while at work cases.
  • Slips, Trips or Falls on same level. ...
  • Handling, lifting or carrying. ...
  • Being struck by or caught in moving machinery. ...
  • Acts of Violence. ...
  • Falls from a height.

What are the 3 leading causes of workplace injuries? ›

Three Leading Causes of Workplace Injury and How to Prevent them
  • Overexertion accounts for 34% of all workplace injuries. ...
  • Contact with objects and equipment is the second leading cause of workplace injuries accounting for 1 in 4 incidents. ...
  • Slips, falls and trips are the cause of another 25% of work-related injuries.
Oct 15, 2021

What are the 4 classifications of injuries? ›

The main types are primary, secondary, direct, indirect and chronic injury.

What is the most common non fatal workplace injury? ›

Slips and trips

The most commonly occurring non-fatal accident in every workplace is through a slip, trip or fall as it can occur anywhere at any time.

What is considered a serious workplace injury? ›

OSHA requires employers to report all severe work-related injuries, defined as an amputation, in-patient hospitalization, or loss of an eye.

What is an example of a force injury at work? ›

Sustained Force Injuries.

Examples of this type of injury are from prolonged static postures, such as sitting or kneeling too long, working with your arms in the overhead, or prolonged back bending. The image shows an example of an employee who is working in a bend-over posture as part of his routine job tasks.

What are the 3 most common types of accidents? ›

If you've been injured in one of these, or any other type of auto accident, call our Nashville personal injury attorneys today.
  • Rear-End Collisions. Rear-end collisions are by far the most common type of car accident. ...
  • Sideswipe Collisions. ...
  • “T-Bone” Collisions.
Mar 23, 2022


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