Home > Avoiding Accidents > The Most Common Injuries and Causes of Accidents at Work

The Most Common Injuries and Causes of Accidents at Work

By: Susan Hunt MA - Updated: 11 Apr 2016 | comments*Discuss
The Most Common Injuries And Causes Of Accidents At Work

People working in different types of job obviously face a range of different hazards.

For example, an office worker is much less at risk from burns than a chef – but there are a range of common accidents and injuries which occur across all occupational sectors – and trips/slips and falls invariably top the league.

In 2007/08, these accounted for almost four out of every 10 major workplace injuries. Other national statistics for the same year show that the most common ‘over-three-day injury’ was caused by handling, lifting or carrying

A total of 34 million work days were lost because of workplace-related accident or illness. Of these, 6 million were due to injuries within the workplace while 28 million were ‘work-related’ ill health days

A total of 229 people were killed at work and although this equates to just 0.8 per 100,000 workers, it is still a lot of lives lost.(Long term, death rates have fallen, but the fatality figures have changed very little over the past six years)

The most commonly cited workplace hazards involved in accidents/illness were manual handling, sitting for long periods and the handling of harmful substances

More than 2 million people believed that their current or previous type of work had caused them to suffer an illness or made a previous illness worse

Overall, the three most common types of accident/injury were:

  • Trips/slips or falls
  • Electrical incidents
  • Manual handling/lifting

Some of the most common injuries were:

  • Sprains and strains
  • Back injury
  • Head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Repetitive Strain Injury

Other less common injuries/illnesses in the workplace include occupational asthma, deafness, vibration white finger and dermatitis.

(Vibration white finger can cause the fingers to tingle, become numb or make it difficult to grip. The damage is usually irreversible and usually caused by excessive hand/ arm vibration.)

Business Sectors

Agriculture tops the table when comparing accident figures between different business sectors with 2240 injuries per 100,000 workers, followed by Construction (1550) and Transport (1350).

Sectors reporting the lowest injury rates were Finance (310) and Education with 610 per 100,000 workers.

Fatal Accidents

In 1999/2000, there were 117.3 reported ‘fatal and major injuries’ nationwide per 100,000 employees and although there was a blip between 2003-2005, this has continued to reduce and in 2007/08, it had dropped to 106.6.

Figures collected from 1996 – 2008 show that almost every year, the most common cause of fatal injuries was falling from a height. This was followed by transport accidents (which include being hit by a vehicle or falling from a vehicle.)

However, hundreds of people also died after being struck by a moving or falling object or being trapped by something falling or collapsing.

The type of vehicles involved in injury accidents over this 12 year period included cars, trucks and vans – but the highest level of injuries were related to fork-lift truck accidents.

There are an average of 1500 injury accidents involving fork lift trucks every year – and research suggests that a high percentage of these are due to lack of training for fork lift truck drivers or poor maintenance of the truck.

Most Common Risks

Overall, slips/trips and falls or damage caused by manual handling/lifting remain the main culprits of injury in the workplace.

The good news is that the government has set targets under the Revitalising Health and Safety initiative to reduce injuries and latest available figures show that the rate of both fatal and over-three-day accidents in the UK is substantially lower than in most other EU countries apart from Sweden and Ireland.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
[Add a Comment]
Thank you for best information most common fullcauses accident that work place related
subho - 11-Apr-16 @ 5:10 PM
Enjoyed the content ,well pyt together ,kind regards
eamon - 24-Feb-16 @ 8:57 PM
what is the major cause of hand injuries?
Dom - 6-Sep-15 @ 7:54 AM
What are the national causes of accidents in Zimbabwe
Timz - 23-Jan-14 @ 6:07 AM
Thank you for the info about the most common cause of accidents that are work-related.
Elwen - 29-Nov-13 @ 1:31 PM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Yvonne
    Re: Dealing with Employee Theft
    I have a situation where I employ a mother, as my manager, and her daughter as my assistant. I live a fair distance away and it is…
    15 January 2017
  • Mel1971
    Re: Legal Minimum Temperature in a Warehouse?
    I work in a warehouse on the top floor there are only 2 floors. But I work static at a table inspecting garments.…
    13 January 2017
  • Mike
    Re: Forklift Truck Safety
    Tractor road speeds increased to 25mph (40km) in January 2016 but I beleave that telescopic rough terrain fork lift trucks are still…
    12 January 2017
  • Dave
    Re: Forklift Truck Safety
    Lined h30d has damaged to overhead guard in 2 different places large dent would this fail a loler inspection
    11 January 2017
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: Kitchen Workplace Safety
    me - Your Question:Hi, my son works in a care home kitchen and has just been told that they will no longer provide safety boots, which…
    11 January 2017
  • Omr
    Re: Dealing with Employee Theft
    I have had something stolen from my workplace by another employee. The room is secure and has key pad entry, no members of the…
    11 January 2017
  • Annie
    Re: Dangers of Dust in the Workplace
    I work in a food factory. We get regular medicals. There is a lot of dust from the product. Wheat. When i am off my ears are…
    11 January 2017
  • Rbow
    Re: How Many Breaks am I Entitled to?
    Hi my work shift is 12 hours 4on 4off. 4nights and then 4days. I'm working as a driver for a valet parking. Can you tell…
    9 January 2017
  • becky
    Re: Kitchen Workplace Safety
    hi i work in a cafe and i do not like what i am and doing because i am on the pot wash and i want to find a different job can you help…
    9 January 2017
  • WorkplaceSafetyAdvice
    Re: Working At Height
    Szymon S - Your Question:If my employer bought me safety equipment, and after a few months I decided to leave, how do I leave that job if I am…
    9 January 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the WorkplaceSafetyAdvice website. Please read our Disclaimer.