What Are the Most Common Work-Related Injuries in the US?

Work-related injuries often occur when you least expect them. You could be experienced and able to perform your job functions to a high standard. But many work injuries are caused by missteps and careless mistakes.

Some injuries are caused when a negligent party fails to clean up hazardous debris or fails to ensure that equipment is properly maintained and safe to use.

The eight most common work injuries

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has identified eight of the most common injuries sustained on the job. Additional analysis of this data by the business security firm CPI Security has determined the factors leading to each injury and the average number of days spent out of work. So what are the eight most common workplace injuries?


Employees who work in hot conditions, and around fire, run the risk of suffering a burn injury. These injuries usually include thermal burns (caused by liquids, open flames, hot objects and explosions), chemical burns (caused by contact with acidic, alkaline, corrosive or caustic materials), electric burns (cause by high-voltage shocks) and sun exposure burns (caused by excessive exposure to the sun).

A total of 15,670 cases of burn injuries are reported each year – with an incident rate of 1.4 per 10,000 full-time workers. Workers who suffer burns while on the job are out of work for an average of six days.

Puncture wounds

Puncture wounds in the workplace are usually caused by falls, contact with broken glass and stepping on sharp objects (such as nails). Most puncture wounds only affect the surface of the skin, but when deep enough, they can affect tendons, muscles, ligaments and bones.

A total of 17,680 workers report suffering a puncture wound each year – with an incident rate of 1.6 per 10,000 full-time workers. The average number of days employees are out of work is three days.


Concussions are often caused by slip and fall accidents and being struck by falling objects. The impact from a blow to the head can result in loss of consciousness, confusion, headaches, dizziness, speech complications, nausea, fatigue and delayed response time. In most cases, concussions are only temporary. However, if they occur repeatedly, they can cause permanent complications.

A total of 18,680 concussions are reported each year in the workplace – with an incident rate of 1.7 per 10,000 full-time workers. Employees who suffer concussions are usually out of work for seven days.


Lacerations or deep cuts are often occur when workers come in contact with broken glass or have accidents with sharp utensils and equipment. Minor lacerations may only require a bandage. But larger, more severe lacerations may require a trip to the hospital. Deep lacerations can affect tendons, muscles and bone tissue.

A total of 86,640 work-related lacerations are reported each year – with an incident rate of 7.8 per 10,000 full-time workers. The average time away from work to recover from a laceration is three days.


Fractures occur when a bone breaks at joint or on the actual bone (also called a compound fracture). They are often caused by falls, accidents with heavy material or accidents with equipment.

A total of 95,060 fractures are reported on the job each year – with an incident rate of 8.5 per 10,000 full-time workers. Employees who suffer from fractures spend an average of 32 days away out of work.


A contusion (also called a bruise) occurs when blood vessels below the skin are damage, resulting in bleeding below the skin. These injuries are often caused by falls, bumps or contact with solid materials and equipment.

A total of 97,960 contusions are reported each year in the workplace – with an incident rate of 8.8 per 10,000 full-time workers. Contusions cause employees to miss an average of four days of work.

Soreness and swelling

Soreness and swelling can often be the result of another injury such as a bump or a sprain. These injuries are usually caused by overexertion.

A total of 226,620 incidents of soreness and swelling are reported each year – with an incident rate of 20.3 per 10,000 full-time workers.

Sprains, strains & tears

A sprain is a torn ligament, often caused by missteps, trips, falls or overexertion. Muscle strains and tears are almost always caused by overexertion or improper lifting – especially when workers are fatigued.

A total of 406,200 incidents of sprains, strains and tears are reported each year – with an incident rate of 36.3 per 10,000 full-time workers. Employees who suffer sprains, strains and tears spend an average of 10 days out of work.

No matter how minor or severe your workplace injury is, contact us

The number of days spent recovering from the injuries identified by BLS are just averages. In more severe cases of such injuries, recovery could be lengthy and expensive. You may be out of work for longer than expected.

No matter how minor or severe your injury may be, as long as it happened within the scope of your employment, you may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In New Jersey, workers’ compensation covers medical benefits, temporary total benefits, permanent partial benefits and permanent total benefits.

Following an injury, you should notify your employer and request medical treatment immediately. Your next course of action should be consulting with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney who can further discuss your options. Contact The Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen, LLC and learn more about how we can help you.

Share this post

Want to join the team?

We’re always looking for new talent. Please email a resume and cover letter to [email protected].