Common Workplace Injuries

People go to work every day so they can make ends meet and provide for themselves and their families. No one expects to suffer an injury while there, but it happens. No matter the industry, people can sustain several injuries while at work, for several different reasons.

California is a state that requires all employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance in case any of their employees suffer injuries. While this does prevent employees from suing employers, it also ensures that all injured workers will be able to get accident benefits, particularly if their injury causes them to be miss work and lose income.

But in 2015, 72 percent of injured workers hired a lawyer to handle their workers’ compensation case, and for good reason. An attorney can work to seek fair accident benefits and make sure the insurance company and the employer treats the employee fairly throughout the entire process. Below are some statistics compiled by the Division of Workers’ Compensation in the State of California for the most common workplace injuries seen in the state from 2000-2014.

Lower Back Injuries

The most common of all workplace injuries, lower back issues accounted for 1.2 million claims during this period. People typically suffer these injuries when a person is lifting a heavy object, particularly if they twist their spine while lifting.

Finger, Hand, and Wrist Injuries

According to the statistics, 917,148 workers hurt their fingers while on the job. These injuries do not include the hand or wrist and are most often caused by the fingers being crushed or cut. Hand injuries closely follow knee injuries with 635,651 employees being affected. Like back injuries, these happen most often when someone strained or sprained their hand from heavy lifting. Breaking a fall after a slip and fall also accounted for some of these claims.

While common, wrist injuries may not happen as much as people think, falling about halfway down the list of most common claims. 471,894 workers complained of these and they are most often due to small, repetitive motions such as carrying trays or typing on a keyboard.

Shoulder Injuries

531,834 shoulder injuries were seen during this time. Included in this category are rotator cuff injuries, dislocated shoulders, shoulder strains, and overuse injuries. These are most often caused by blunt trauma to the joint, heavy lifting, falling onto the shoulder, and repetitive motions, particularly when tasks are being done overhead.

Eye Injuries

About 2,000 eye injuries happen every day to people in the country and during the 14 years of this study, 409,316 people in California were afflicted by them. These can occur from being exposed to welding torches, hazardous conditions such as a windy construction site where debris is flying around, or simply wearing the wrong eye protection.

Ankle and Foot Injuries

Injuries to the ankles are most often from a slip and fall and they made up 374,197 of workplace claims in California during the time of the study. It may not be surprising to learn that injuries to the foot made up 304,498 of workplace claims during the study’s period. Those are most often due to long periods of standing, particularly on hard flooring or in poorly fitted footwear such as pointed shoes, or from infections such as athlete’s foot from working in hot and humid environments.

Neck Injuries

The least common injuries seen throughout the study were neck injuries, but they still made up 235,014 of all claims. These were mostly strains and sprains due to a person holding their head in an odd position for an extended period, such as when looking down at a screen or down at the ground.