The 3 Most Common Types of Workplace Injuries and What to Do When It Happens

Everyone knows someone who has strained their back lifting a heavy box or snagged by a letter opener at work. Workplace injuries happen nearly every day, and although many of them result with no incident, a large number of them do. The CDC estimates that over 1.8 million employees experience injuries in the workplace, resulting in lost days of work and sometimes medical treatment. These three categories are responsible for the vast majority of workplace injuries, and understanding why they happen is the best way to prevent yourself from having it happen to you.


Once the sixth most likely cause of a workplace injury, exposure to harmful substances or environments is now the leading cause of all workplace-related injuries. 424,360 people were injured at work due to exposure in 2020 alone. Exposure-related injuries happen because of the harmful substances or environments an employee comes in contact with, such as extreme temperatures, electricity, radiation, or drastic changes in air or water pressure. This category also includes exposure to infectious diseases, which explains the stark increase in cases.


Comprising of 21.7% of workplace injuries, overexertion happens most often at jobs that require an element of physical labor. Workplace injuries like this typically result from one of two scenarios. The first is that the employee attempts to lift, push, or carry something they were unprepared for, resulting in an injury. The other way that employees get injured via overexertion is through repetitive motions. Tasks like typing on a keyboard or putting together parts on a manufacturing line may not be physically strenuous in the moment but result in a serious injury over the span of weeks, months, or even years. When filing for workers’ compensation because of an injury in this category, it’s important to have your evidence organized, so you can prove that you are entitled to compensation. A workers’ compensation lawyer can walk you through the process of filing your claim.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Whether someone slipped on a freshly mopped office floor or lost their balance in the middle of moving hay bales, slips, trips, and falls make up roughly 18% of workplace-related injuries. All falls, whether the employee only fell a couple feet or a couple stories, are covered by workers’ compensation in the result of an injury, even if the employee caught themselves before they fell.

What to Do If You Have a Workplace Accident

When an injury occurs in the workplace, time is of the absolute essence. You are, of course, entitled to workers’ compensation, but in order to receive it from your employer, you must go through a very lengthy claims process. First, you must receive medical attention. Even if the injuries are minor, getting an examination creates evidence of your injury. Next, you need to report their injury to your employer, who will have you fill out paperwork, then process your claim.

With the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney, this process can be smooth and headache-free. A work comp lawyer can gather evidence, build, and present your claim, as well as handle communication between you and other parties, such as your employer or their insurance company. If you’re looking to build your case, contact us at the Law Office of Chris Miller. Our attorneys have years of experience helping others through the workers’ compensation claims process and getting them what they’re entitled.