Written by: Bruce L. Weider | 3.31.2024

Common Workplace Injuries

Accidents can happen at any point, including in the workplace. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), over 5,000 fatal work-related injuries occurred in 2022. While some of these incidents may be truly unavoidable, others are caused by the failure of employers to mitigate risks and create safe work environments. A greater understanding of common workplace injuries is an important first step, but safety education is not a remedy for those who have already suffered while trying to earn a living. Find out how a Michigan workers’ compensation attorney can aid injured workers by reaching out to Bruce L. Weider, PC at (734) 485-0535 to schedule a consultation.

Workplace Accidents and Common Workplace Injuries Explained

Unforeseen events that occur during ordinary work-related duties are called workplace accidents. While many workplace accidents represent a relatively minor interruption in the course of an otherwise unremarkable workday, these incidents can also result in mental or physical injuries. In the most severe cases a workplace accident may even lead to a worker’s death. 

Workplace accidents can occur on or off company premises; as long as they take place during the ordinary course of business, the incidents may still be considered workplace accidents. Common causes of workplace injuries include:

  • Animal or human attacks
  • Acute poisoning
  • Staircase or hallway slips or falls
  • Transportation collisions
  • Repetitive strain 

What Are the Top 5 Injuries in the Workplace?

Here are five common causes of work-related injuries:

  • Overexertion: Overexertion may include pulled or strained muscles, chronic pain, or joint problems. Employers can help their workers avoid these debilitating injuries by teaching them how to lift properly and complete other tasks safely. Frequent breaks may also mitigate issues related to overexertion..
  • Repetitive motion: Injuries of this type impact staff in various work environments, including offices, factories, and assembly lines. They occur when employees repeatedly complete the same movements or tasks – leading to strained muscles, damaged joints, and even nerve damage. To mitigate these injuries, employers should provide staff with frequent breaks and ergonomic equipment.
  • Electrocution: Any environment with the potential for exposed power lines may present an electrocution hazard, and employers should instruct staff members to avoid live wires through appropriate training. Protective gear can also help those working on electrical equipment.
  • Workplace violence: Violence between colleagues and customers unfortunately does sometimes occur as a result of disagreements in the workplace. Training managers and employees on de-escalation strategies and crisis management can help to reduce the frequency of violent incidents in the workplace.
  • Equipment entrapment: This type of injury often leads to horrific injuries – such as lost fingers or limbs, crushed bones, or death. Entrapment happens when a part of a person’s body or an article of their clothing becomes trapped in functioning machinery or equipment. Employers should give employees adequate training on safe operating procedures for all workplace machinery, as well as providing protective equipment to help prevent severe injuries.

An experienced Michigan worker’s compensation lawyer may be able to provide more information about common workplace injuries while assisting injured workers with their legal claims. Arrange a consultation with Bruce L. Weider, PC to learn more.

What Is the #1 Reported Workplace Injury?

The most reported workplace injuries come from falls, slips, and trips. Slip and fall accidents in a workplace can lead to injuries such as broken bones, neck, head, and back injuries, sprains, pulled muscles, and cuts. Head injuries and injuries to the back that affect the spine can have especially serious effects. There are various potential causes of slips, trips, and falls:

  • Spills
  • Oily or wet surfaces
  • Loose or wrinkled carpets or rugs
  • Weather conditions, such as icy steps
  • Clutter
  • Poor lighting
  • Uncovered cables
  • Pitted walking surfaces

Many falls, slips, and trips are avoidable. Employers should implement and maintain workplace policies that keep the working environment clean, in good repair, and free of clutter. Employers should also invest in walking surfaces with traction appropriate to the demands of the work conducted on location, and in regular maintenance to ensure that floors, water lines, wiring, and other critical elements of the workplace environment are kept in good repair. .

What Is the Most Common Workplace Injury Occurrence?

Apart from slips, falls, and trips, a common injury occurrence involves a moving or stationary object striking an employee:

  • Moving objects: An impact from a moving object can happen in a variety of workplace settings. For instance, tools, supplies, and products can strike employees in manufacturing complexes, warehouses, or offices. Examples may include impacts from machinery or moving vehicles in other environments. Depending on the impact force and object mass, severe injuries can occur in these scenarios – including crushed bones and cranial trauma.
  • Stationary objects: Individuals can also sustain injuries by tripping over or striking stationary objects, such as trash or debris. Injuries sustained in this way may be especially likely when the stationary objects are improperly placed in high-traffic areas such as walkways, aisles, and stairways. Employers can easily prevent many of these accidents by allocating labor power and payroll for the performance of regular checks and removals of these stationary objects.

What Are 4 of the 5 Most Common Causes of Workplace Accidents?

In addition to the physical hazards present in the workplace environment itself, there may be a number of other factors that increase the likelihood of workplace accidents. Four common factors contributing to workplace accidents include:

  • Tiredness and lack of breaks that affect awareness of hazards while working
  • Boredom or distractions, such as looking at a cell phone while walking – leading to lack of spatial awareness
  • Untidy or cluttered work environments
  • Shortcuts that speed up tasks but reduce safety

What Is the First Thing That Must Be Done When a Worker Is Injured?

After an injury, follow these steps:

  • Make sure all parties are safe.
  • Apply first aid, visit the emergency room, or call 9-11
  • Report the accident and obtain a copy of the incident report.
  • Inform colleagues and management of the accident.
  • Acquire evidence of the injury, such as photos and videos.
  • Keep written notes of any visible symptoms.
  • Record any losses and keep all receipts.
  • Consider seeking legal advice.

Contact a Michigan Worker’s Compensation Lawyer Today

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), for the period 2021-2022, the most common work-related injuries were caused by harmful environment or substance exposure, falls, trips, slips, bodily reactions, overexertion, and equipment/object contact. The effects of these injuries range from minor to life-changing. After a workplace injury, consider speaking to an attorney. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney may be able to help you determine your eligibility for compensation, create an injury claim, and fight for your rights as an injured Michigan employee. Learn about the most common workplace injuries and explore legal options by calling a Michigan worker’s compensation lawyer from Bruce L. Weider, PC at (734) 485-0535.

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