6 Most Common Workplace Accidents

If you're injured on the job, make sure you know your rights. Learn from our list of the six most common workplace accidents & what to do if it happens to you!
Two construction workers helping their team member after he had a common workplace accident.

Employers reported nearly 3.2 million work-related injuries and illnesses in 2022, making workplace accidents a leading cause of injury in the United States. The workplace environment can be dangerous, and these incidents can bring considerable financial hardship, physical pain, and emotional distress to the affected parties.

While many accidents can be attributed to negligence or oversight, some are more common than others. If you or a family member have suffered an injury due to one of these incidents you should find out if you are eligible for legal recourse and compensation. Here are six common workplace accidents to watch out for.

1. Workplace Slips, Trips & Falls

The majority of workplace accidents occur as a result of slips and falls. Often, these accidents occur due to poor maintenance or inadequate safety precautions leading to slippery floors, wet surfaces, debris in aisles, uneven stairs, or other hazardous conditions. The resulting injuries range from mild bruises and sprains to more severe fractures, head trauma, or paralysis.

Slips and trips can happen inside and outside the workplace, depending on the job duties. For instance, an employee who works near scaffolding or in a warehouse might be more likely to slip and fall due to the higher risk of tripping hazards. The injured party may be eligible for a claim depending on the circumstances leading up to the accident.

2. Back Injuries From Heavy Lifting at Work

Back injuries can occur due to improper lifting techniques or overexertion in the workplace, leading to strains or sprains of the back muscles and sometimes a more serious spine injury. Typical causes include the following:

  • Lifting objects that are too heavy
  • Repeatedly lifting objects without adopting good body mechanics
  • Twisting while carrying a load
  • Poor posture in seated positions

The effects of a back injury can be severe and long-lasting, thus resulting in pain and disability. You must seek medical attention immediately if you experience discomfort or pain in your back after lifting something at work. Your doctor can help determine the extent of your injury and offer treatment options before you consider legal recourse.

3. Machine-Related Workplace Accidents

In industrial and manufacturing settings, machine-related accidents can be severe due to the sheer power of these tools and devices. Typical incidents include the following:

  • Entanglement in moving parts
  • Contact with an unguarded blade or sharp edge
  • Electrical shock from a defective piece of equipment

Employers must take special care to ensure that all machines are properly maintained, guarded, and labeled as needed to prevent accidents. Safety gear such as goggles or gloves should be worn when necessary, and employers should adequately train workers to use any machine before operating it. You might be eligible for workers’ compensation if you were injured while using a machine at work or you may have a personal injury claim if you were injured due to a malfunctioning or poorly maintained machine.

4. Repetitive Motion Injuries in the Workplace

Repetitive motion injuries can occur in any job that requires repeated motions, such as typing, assembly line work, or packing boxes. Common injuries include carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis due to strain on the wrists and hands. Injuries can also occur in the neck, shoulders, and back due to poor posture or repetitive motions.

The effects of repetitive motion injuries can be long-term and disabling, leading to pain and difficulty while performing daily activities. If you were injured due to prolonged periods of repetitive motions, you should seek medical attention immediately and discuss whether a legal claim would be worthwhile.

5. Vehicle-Related Workplace Accidents

Vehicle-related accidents are increasingly common in occupations that involve travel, such as delivery drivers or truck drivers. The most common cause of work-related mortality in the U.S. is motor vehicle crashes, which accounted for more than 17,000 worker fatalities between 2011 and 2020. Common reasons for these accidents include the following:

  • Distracted driving
  • Speeding
  • Poor weather conditions
  • Unsafe roads or vehicles

Injured parties may be eligible for workers’ compensation depending on the circumstances of the accident. If your loved one died as the result of a work-related vehicle accident you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.

6. Workplace Exposure to Hazardous Substances or Chemicals

Exposure to hazardous substances can occur in several workplaces, such as construction sites and factories. Inhaling toxic fumes, coming in contact with caustic chemicals, and accidental ingestion can lead to severe injuries. The resulting health problems can range from mild skin irritation to death.

If you have been exposed to hazardous substances, it’s crucial to document your workplace and the toxic materials present to pursue a workers’ compensation or personal injury claim. You may be eligible for damages that cover medical costs and lost wages due to your exposure.

Seek Legal Advice

If you or a loved one have suffered from any of the six most common workplace accidents, it is important to seek legal advice. A qualified attorney can help assess your eligibility for workers’ compensation claims. They’ll offer guidance on the next course of action. Be sure to gather relevant evidence, such as medical records and workplace safety reports, to support your claim. Don’t wait — you must take legal action promptly after the accident.

Contact Richmond, Virginia, Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

If you have been injured in a workplace accident and need help with your case, Renfro & Renfro’s experienced Virginia workers’ compensation attorneys are here to assist. We understand the process can be complex and intimidating, so call us today at (804) 601-4433 or contact us online for a free consultation. Let our team guide you through your claim and help you receive the compensation you deserve.


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