What Are The Most Common Workplace Injuries? Plus Over 33 Work-Related Injury Statistics

The most common workplace injuries are fall protection, safety communication, and respiratory protection; nevertheless, all kinds of injuries occur at work. And, believe it or not, in 2021 2.5 million workers visited an emergency room due to work-related injuries. This means if you are a small business without workers comp insurance you are putting yourself at risk. If you want to know which types of injuries are most common in the United States workplace, keep reading for a comprehensive list with some eye-opening statistics. You might be shocked by what you find!

Top Workplace Injury Statistics:

  • Around 160 million people are victims of work-related illness worldwide, with about 340 million occupational accidents each year.
  • Every year, over 3 million workers in the United States suffer an injury at work.
  • 2.5 million workers were treated in emergency departments for workplace injuries in 2021, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Every year, over 4,600 people die on the job in the United States.
  • Slips, trips, and falls account for 27% of all non-fatal injuries.
  • Every year, 29,000 workplace injuries are caused by touch with objects and equipment.
  • There are only 2,000 OSHA inspectors enforcing safety standards for more than 8 million worksites
  • According to OSHA, construction is one of the most hazardous jobs and accounts for the greatest number of fatalities each year.
  • About 16 Americans died per day in 2020 due to workplace fatalities compared to 38 people in 1970.

Most Common Work-Place Injury Statistics In America

What Are The Most Common Workplace Injuries?


OSHA has identified fall protection, hazard communication, and respiratory protection as the top three most common workplace injuries

Although several of the top 10 most frequently violated OSHA standards in 2020 were construction-specific, such as ladder safety requirements, scaffolding rules, and fall protection on construction sites, most were found across all industries.

In 2020, OSHA identified the following general industry violations as being particularly hazardous:

  • Failure to communicate hazards properly
  • An absence of respiratory protection and eye and face protection
  • Uncontrolled hazardous energy
  • Risks posed by powered industrial trucks and equipment 
  • Machine guarding without training on fall-prevention precautions.

In the United States, overexertion and bodily reaction (slips, trips, falls), contact with objects and equipment, and bodily reactions cause 84 percent of all nonfatal injuries resulting in time away from work.


The majority of nonfatal workplace injuries in the United States are caused by instances involving excessive physical activity, such as strenuous heavy lifting, pushing, and straining repetitive motions. Accidents involving equipment are also prevalent.

Workers who are over 50 years old are at an increased risk of injury, as shown by studies. According to statistics, the rate per 10,000 full-time employees for overexertion and physiological reaction is 27, for falls is 23.9, for slips and trips is 22.4, and for contact with objects and equipment is 22.4.

Employees aged 45 to 55 suffer the most from overexertion-related injuries, bodily response-related injuries (21), falls (22), slips (24), and trips (26).

In 2019, slips, trips, and falls were the cause of about 27.4% of nonfatal workplace injuries in the private sector.


According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, falls, slips, and trips were responsible for 244,000 workplace injuries that resulted in time away from work in 2019, resulting in 75,420 sprains, strains, and tears, 46,800 fractures (fractures not involving dislocations), and 6,740 cuts (lacerations) and lacerations (punctures).

Overexertion and bodily reaction, as well as falls, slips, and trips, account for the longest time off from work among the three most prevalent causes of occupational injury in the United States.


Over-exertion and bodily reaction, as well as falls, slips, and trips, are the top two causes of workplace injury in the United States. In contrast to the country's third greatest cause of workplace injury — contact with objects and equipment –which generally lasts 5 days away from work – these injuries typically result in 13 days off.

Workplace Death & Injury Trends

Workplace deaths in the United States have decreased by more than 60%.


According to OSHA, workplace fatalities in the United States decreased by 60.53 percent in 2019, when compared to 1970. In just about 50 years, on-the-job deaths have dropped from 38 per day in 1970 to 15 per day today, according to OSHA.

In 47 years, the workplace accident and sickness rate in the United States have dropped by almost 74%.


Workers were being injured or sick at a rate of 74.3 percent less in 2019 than they were in 1972, according to data from the United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). According to survey results, there were approximately 10.9 incidents per 100 workers in 1972. In 2019, there were about 2.8 incidents per every 100 workers.

2020 Workplace Deaths By Occupation

Top 5 Occupations With The Highest Number Of Workplace Deaths


  • Transportation and material moving - 1,282 Workplace Deaths
  • Construction - 976 Workplace Deaths
  • Installation Maintenance & Repair - 393  Workplace Deaths
  • Management - 361 Workplace Deaths
  • Building and grounds cleaning and maintenance - 307 Workplace Deaths

Top 5 Occupations With The Lowest Amount Of Workplace Deaths


  • Legal - 5 Workplace Deaths
  • Computer and mathematical - 8 Workplace Deaths
  • Educational instruction and library occupations - 13 Workplace Deaths
  • Life, physical, and social science - 17 Workplace Deaths
  • Business and financial operations - 23 Workplace Deaths

Number Of Workplace Injuries In America

How Many Workplace Injuries Occur Each Year?


On average, every year in the United States, 2.8 out of every 100 workers are injured at work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 2.8 people out of every 100 are injured at work every year in the United States and there are around 2.8 million nonfatal on-the-job accidents and injuries each year throughout the country's private employment sector.

OSHA has a 2021 budget of $591,787,000.


OSHA's budget has increased by $10 million since 2020 when it was $581,787,000. OSHA's annual funding in 2019 was $557,787,000.

1,850 OSHA inspectors are working for the federal government and state partners across the United States who are in charge of the safety of 130 million workers.


The nationwide safety organization, Federal OSHA, only has ten regional offices and 85 local offices, yet the state partners have 8 million total worksites across the country. There is roughly one inspector for every 70,000 employees in the United States with 1,850 federal and state OSHA inspectors conducting 33,393 federal inspections and 42,063 state inspections in 2019.

Workplace Injury By Industry Statistics

Manufacturing workplaces account for 15% of workplace injuries in the United States.


According to BLS data, the manufacturing sector has the highest rate of work-related injuries. In 2019, 3.3 reportable non-fatal injuries or illnesses per 100 employees were recorded in manufacturing worksites, resulting in 421,400 persons being injured or becoming sick at work.

64,640 workers missed at least one day of work as a result of the accident or sickness they experienced on shift. 28 percent (32,470) got sprains, strains, and tares; 14.5 percent (16,790) had discomfort or pain; and 13.3 percent (15,380) had cuts, lacerations, and punctures.

In the United States, construction has some of the highest on-the-job fatality rates in any industry.


According to OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, construction sites were responsible for 20% of employee fatalities in the private sector in 2019.

Also, according to the federal study, 1,061 construction workers died in 2019, accounting for one out of every five worker deaths that year throughout the United States.

Workplace deaths numbered about 15 per day across the country during 2019. As a result, around three construction workers perished on the job every day throughout the year.

According to recent research from the University of California, San Francisco, line cooks are most prone to contracting COVID-19 at work.


Line cooks are also at the greatest danger of dying from an occupational illness as a result of contracting the epidemic virus.

Lineworkers had a 60 percent higher chance of death during the peak of the worldwide pandemic, according to research. Cooks, warehouse line staff, farmers, bakers, and construction laborers all had mortality rates greater than 50% during the worldwide pandemic.

Construction-related injuries caused 79,660 people to be hurt in 2019.


Construction sites are dangerous, and according to data published by the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 9% of workplace injuries in 2019 occurred there, resulting in 21,170 sprains, strains, and tears, 13,190 fractures, and 10,950 cuts.

American Workplace Injury Demographic Statistics

What Percent Of Workplace Deaths Are Male?


In 2019, male workers died at a rate of 7.5 percent (366 out of 4,896) in the workplace, and Homicide was responsible for around 20% of female employee fatalities (88 out of 437).

On average, men are hurt on the job 17.3% more frequently than women.


According to BLS statistics, in the private sector, 91.7 out of every 10,000 full-time male workers were hurt at work in 2019, compared to 80.4 out of 10,000 full-time female employees (or 17.3% more likely to be injured), implying that men are 17.3 percent more likely to be injured at work than women. Between 2018 and 2019, however, both injury rates for males and females dropped significantly. In each year from 2018 through 2020.

Men's work injury rates are 7% higher than those of male government employees.


According to BLS statistics, 60% of all private-sector workplace injuries in 2019 were male, while 40% were female. When looking at the same period for government workers who were injured on the job, however, 53% of injuries were sustained by males and 47% by females.

According to BLS statistics, 60% of all private-sector workplace injuries in 2019 were male, while 40% were female. When looking at the same period for government workers who were injured on the job, however, 53% of injuries were sustained by males and 47% by females.

People 65 years of age and older usually stay home from work for twice as long following an injury than the national average.


According to BLS statistics, 60% of all private-sector workplace injuries in 2019 were male, while 40% were female. When looking at the same period for government workers who were injured on the job, however, 53% of injuries were sustained by males and 47% by females.

21.3% of employees aged 25 to 34 were more likely to miss work in 2019 because of on-the-job injuries.


In the United States, 888,220 people were hurt at work and missed at least one day of work as a result of that accident, according to data published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The ages 25 to 34 and 45 to 54 accounted for 189,310 or 19% of all workplace injuries, with 184,850 or 20.8 percent between 45 and 54 years old.

Employees aged 14 to 15 had the fewest injuries (14-15), followed by those 16-19 years old (16-19), persons 65 and older (65+), and workers 20-24 years old (20-24).

In 2019, the states of California and Texas had the most workplace fatalities compared to any other state in the United States.


In 2019, 488 workers died on the job in Texas, and 422 people died on the job in California.

Although the fatality rates were high in both states, California had a higher incident rate of 2.3 per 100,000 full-time employees, compared to Texas' 3.8 per 100,000 full-time employees.

Other states with higher than average fatal workplace accident rates included Wyoming (incident rate of 11.5), Alaska (9.9), North Dakota (9.6), West Virginia (7.9), South Dakota (6 .9) , and Mississippi (6 .7).

Arkansas, Delaware, and Georgia are the top three safest states, with workplace injury rates that are below the national average.


Workplace sickness and injury rates in Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Utah are comparable to the national average of 2.8 percent. Louisiana (1), Massachusetts (2), New Jersey (3), New York (4), North Carolina (5) Ohio (6) South Carolina Texas (9) Virginia (22).

On average, workers who are injured at work miss eight days of work.


In the commercial sector in 2019, the median number of days individuals were unable to work due to an on-the-job accident or injury was eight. Some businesses, however, had higher than average time away from work owing to workplace injuries. Workplace injuries in 2019 resulted in heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers missing an average of 19 days of work, light truck drivers losing an average of 20 days of income, and material movers and maintenance repair employees losing a total of 12 days' wages.

Only about half of all employees who are hurt at work miss time due to their job-related injury or illness.


According to the Department of Labor, just 888,220 of the 2.8 million individuals injured in 2019 missed at least one day of work due to their injury or illness. The data revealed that .9 people per every 100 workers in the United States' private business industry were hurt on the job and were unable to work for at least one day as a result of their injuries.

Concluding Thoughts

Taking Action


America has seen a significant reduction in workplace injuries and deaths over the past decade, but we still have work to do. A lot of people don't realize that the workplace is a dangerous environment, as evidenced by these statistics about workplace injury rates. 

The statistics vary by occupation and industry type, so it's important for business owners to understand their risks when hiring new employees or starting up a company.

If you are a small business owner and aren't covered, you can click here for an instant workers comp insurance quote.

Sources:


Sa El

About the author

Sa El is the Co-Founder of Simply Insurance and a licensed Insurance Agent with over 13 years of experience in the industry.  He specializes in Life & Health Insurance and is certified in Long Term Care Insurance in the state of Georgia. a licensed real estate agent in the state of Georgia (License #382602), an entrepreneur, insurance educator, and freelance writer.

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