It’s no secret that accidents happen. In fact, workplace accidents happen every 7 seconds in the US on average, according to the National Safety Council (NSC). Some industries, such as healthcare, construction, law enforcement, and maintenance naturally tend to have higher rates of workplace injury and illness. However, many, including the NSC, believe that the majority, if not all workplace accidents are preventable.
Raising awareness and adhering to safety standards as outlined by OSHA are the first steps to making sure you’re safe at work. So without further ado, here are some of the most surprising workplace safety statistics.
2017/18 WORKPLACE INJURY STATISTICS
Although 2019 is already coming to a close, the most complete, up-to-date injury data involves the years 2017-2018.
- In 2018, there were 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses.
- Around 9% of fatal workplace injuries were due to homicide.
- Work injuries account for about 99 million days of lost productivity each year.
- Ladders in the construction industry were one of the top 10 frequently cited OSHA violations.
- While overall work fatalities were down slightly from 2017
2019 TOP 5 CAUSES OF WORKPLACE INJURIES (SO FAR)
Workplace injuries are mainly defined as an injury or illness that causes a worker to miss 5 or more days of work. In 2019, the top 5 workplace injuries were caused by:
- Overexertion: lifting, carrying, holding heavy objects can take a toll if proper form and safety measures are ignored. Overexertion was responsible for 23% of workplace injuries in 2019.
- Falls on the same level: this means that the injury was not caused by falls from height, such as from a scaffolding or ladder, but rather slips from spills or tripping on equipment in walkways.
- Struck by object: this includes equipment falling from a height.
- Falls to a lower level: falling from a ladder, scaffolding or other raised platform caused around 9% of workplace injuries last year.
- Other exertions or bodily reactions: this includes stress injuries from climbing, walking, crawling or other bodily movements.
According to most experts, most if not all workplace injuries are avoidable if you follow safety guidelines as outlined by OSHA and your employer. Cutting corners could land you in a hospital bed, so take the proper precautions, don’t misuse tools/equipment, and ensure you immediately clean up spills and know proper ladder safety.