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75 Workplace Injury Statistics: Trends, Causes, and Demographics

75 Workplace Injury Statistics: Trends, Causes, and Demographics

75 Workplace Injury Statistics: Trends, Causes, and Demographics

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The workplace is where we spend a significant portion of our lives. It's where we pursue our careers, earn a living, and contribute to society. However, it's also a place where accidents and injuries can occur, affecting our physical well-being and livelihoods.

Exploring the latest workplace injury statistics is crucial to understanding the prevalence and implications of workplace injuries. These numbers provide insights into workplace safety and remind everyone of the importance of creating safer environments for all workers.

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  • The construction sector accounted for more than one-fifth (22.5%) of all fatal workplace accidents. 3
  • Non-fatal accidents were most prevalent in the manufacturing sector (19.2%), human health and social work activities sector (13.5%), construction sector (12.9%), and distributive trades sector (12.5%). 3
  • The most common types of injuries in workplace accidents were wounds and superficial injuries (28.0%) and dislocations, sprains, and strains (26.0%). 3
  • Among the 288,800 males with work-related injuries, 24% were technicians and trades workers, 15% were machinery operators and drivers, another 15% of the injured male workers were labourers. 4
  • The age group with the highest rate of work-related injuries or illness was people aged 55 - 59 years with a rate of 4.7%, followed by people aged 20 - 24 years at 4.0%. 4
  • Statistics on Workplace Injuries and Their Causes

    Workplace injuries are a pressing concern affecting millions of workers worldwide every year. These incidents cause physical and emotional suffering and have significant economic implications for individuals and organizations.

    • In 2022, private-sector employers in the US documented 2.8 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses, marking a 7.5% increase compared to 2021.1
    • This increase consisted of a 4.5% uptick in injuries, totaling 2.3 million cases, and a substantial 26.1% rise in illnesses, reaching 460,700 cases.1
    • In the United States, between 2021 and 2022, there were 2.2 million cases involving days away from work (DAFW), which accounted for 66.5% of the total Days Away, Restricted, or Transferred (DART) cases.1
    • The annualized incidence rate in the US was 112.9 cases per 10,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers, requiring a median of 10 days away from work.1
    • In 2022, the private industry's total recordable cases (TRC) incidence rate in the US was 2.7 cases per 100 FTE workers.1
    • The rate of injury cases in the US in 2022 was 2.3 per 100 FTE workers, while the illness rate increased to 45.2 cases per 10,000 FTE workers.1
    • Among healthcare practitioners and technical occupations in the US, 78.6% of all DART cases resulted in at least one day away from work during 2021-2022.1
    • The occupation group in the U.S. with the highest number of DART cases over 2021-2022 was transportation and material moving, with a total of 835,040 injuries and illnesses.1
    • Overexertion and bodily reaction accounted for the most DART cases in the U.S. at 1,001,440, followed by contact with objects and equipment with 780,690 cases during 2021-2022.1
    • In the U.S. during 2021-2022, there were 759,560 DART cases involving individuals aged 25 to 34.1
    • Different types of events or exposures in the US led to varying numbers of DART cases across occupations, with overexertion, bodily reaction, and contact with objects and equipment being significant contributing factors.1
    The statistics paint a concerning picture of workplace safety in the private sector. With a significant 7.5% jump in nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses from the previous year, it's clear that more attention and action are needed in this area.

    The breakdown of these figures is even more alarming: while injuries saw a notable increase of 4.5%, totaling 2.3 million cases, it's the sharp 26.1% surge in illnesses, reaching 460,700 cases, that raises eyebrows.

    This trend highlights a critical need for enhanced workplace safety measures and health protocols to reverse this worrying upward trajectory.
    • In the US, 18% of nonfatal work injuries resulting in days away from work were related to slips, trips, and falls.2
    • In the EU, there were a total of 3,347 fatal workplace accidents in 2021.3
    • There was a decrease of 11 fatalities in fatal accidents in the EU compared to the previous year.3
    • In the EU, the construction sector accounted for more than one-fifth (22.5%) of all fatal workplace accidents.3
    • Nearly 75% of workplace accidents in the EU resulted in injuries such as wounds, superficial injuries, dislocations, sprains, strains, concussions, or internal injuries.3
    • Fatal workplace accidents in the EU were predominantly concentrated in the construction, transportation, storage, manufacturing, and agriculture sectors, which collectively represented 65.5% of all such incidents.3
    • Non-fatal accidents were most prevalent in the manufacturing sector in the EU (19.2%), human health and social work activities sector in the EU (13.5%), construction sector in the EU (12.9%), and distributive trades sector in the EU (12.5%).3
    • The most common types of injuries in workplace accidents in the EU were wounds and superficial injuries (28.0%) and dislocations, sprains, and strains (26.0%).3
    • 24% of work-related injuries in Australia were attributed to activities such as lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending.4
    • Falls on the same level, including slips or falls, accounted for 17% of workplace injuries in Australia.4
    • 16% of work-related injuries in Australia involved incidents where individuals were hit or cut by an object or vehicle.4
    Most Common Causes of Work-Related Injuries

    • Total nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses in the US private industry ranged from 2.6 million to 2.8 million cases annually between 2018 and 2022.1
    • Incidence rates of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses varied among industries in the US, with certain sectors, such as agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting, exhibiting higher rates than others.1
    • The number of nonfatal occupational injuries and illnesses by industry in the U.S. also fluctuated, with notable numbers reported in sectors like manufacturing, retail trade, transportation, and warehousing.1
    • Specific occupation groups in the US, such as healthcare practitioners, technical occupations, and transportation and material moving occupations, reported high numbers and rates of DART cases.1

    The statistics on workplace injuries and their causes offer a sobering glimpse into the reality of occupational hazards. As we've seen, these incidents can vary widely in nature and impact, affecting diverse groups of workers across industries.

    By analyzing these statistics, we can identify patterns and trends highlighting areas needing improvement, whether through enhanced safety measures, better training, or more robust regulations.

    Workplace Injury Statistics by Industry

    The workplace can be a dangerous place, but the level of risk varies significantly between industries.

    • Manufacturing jobs account for 15% of workplace injuries in the United States.5
    • Among industries in the United States, construction exhibits some of the highest on-the-job fatality rates.5
    • During the pandemic's peak, line cooks in the US experienced a 60% increase in mortality.5
    • The global pandemic also resulted in mortality rates exceeding 50% for cooks, warehouse line workers, agricultural workers, bakers, and construction laborers in the US.5
    • Private-sector workplace injury rates for men in the U.S. are 7% higher compared to their counterparts in government positions.5
    • Community and personal service workers at 7.0%.4
    • Machinery operators and drivers at 6.5%.4
    • Laborer's at 5.7%.4
    • Technicians and trades workers at 5.3%.4
    These stats highlight key safety issues in various sectors. In the US, manufacturing and construction jobs are notably risky, with construction having high fatality rates. The pandemic significantly increased mortality in demanding roles like cooking and agriculture. Also, private-sector jobs in the US are riskier for men than government roles.

    In Australia, community service workers, machinery operators, and laborers face the highest injury rates, emphasizing the need for better safety protocols in these physically demanding jobs.
    • Accommodation and food services at 5.6%.4
    • Agriculture, forestry, and fishing at 5.4%.4
    • Transport, postal, and warehousing at 5.1%.4

    In Australia, the sectors experiencing the lowest rates of growth

    • Professional, scientific, and technical services at 1.0%.4
    • Financial and insurance services at 1.3%.4
    • Administrative and support services at 2.3%.4
    • Technicians and trades workers make up 24%.4
    • Machinery operators and drivers comprise 15%.4
    • Laborers, also accounting for 15%.4
    • Community and personal service workers accounted for 27%.4
    • Professionals made up 20%.4
    Work-Related Injuries by Sex and Industry

    • Construction, with 17%.4
    • Public Administration and Safety, accounting for 12%.4
    • Transport, postal, and Warehouse comprise 11%.4
    • Health Care and Social Assistance: 27%.4
    • Education and Training: 14%.4
    • Accommodation and Food Services: 12%.4

    Workplace injury statistics by industry reveal that some sectors are far riskier than others regarding on-the-job injuries. Recognizing these disparities is the first step toward creating safer workplaces.

    Workplace Injury Demographic Statistics

    Workplace injuries affect people of all backgrounds, but not equally. Demographic statistics highlight the disparities and challenges faced by different groups in the workforce.

    • Out of 14.1 million individuals employed at some point in the past year in Australia, 497,300 people encountered a work-related injury or illness within that same 12-month timeframe.4
    • In Australia, during 2021-22, 3.9% of men who had jobs in the past year had a work-related injury or illness, which was lower than the 4.4% rate in 2017-18.4
    • Among women in Australia, the rate of work-related injuries or illnesses also decreased from 4.1% in 2017-18 to 3.1% in 2021-22.4
    • Additionally, over half of those in Australia who suffered from a job-related injury or illness were male, accounting for 58% of cases.4
    • The age group in Australia with the highest rate of work-related injuries or illness was people aged 55 - 59 years, with a rate of 4.7%, followed by people aged 20 - 24 years at 4.0%.4
    • On average, in the US, men are about 17.3% more likely to experience work-related injuries compared to women.5
    • In the US private sector, 91.7 out of every 10,000 full-time male employees experienced injuries that required them to take time off from work. For full-time female employees in the same sector, this number was 80.4 out of 10,000.5
    • Individuals aged 65 and older typically take double the national average time off work when they sustain workplace injuries.5
    • In the US, out of the 888,220 individuals who missed work due to on-the-job injuries, 21.3% were in the age group of 25 to 34 years old.5
    • Of those same 888,220 people, 20.8%, or 184,850 individuals, were 45 to 54 years old.5
    • When it comes to injuries in the US, the age groups with the lowest incidence rates, in descending order, are 14 to 15, 16 to 19, 65 and older, and 20 to 24.5
    A striking disparity emerges in workplace safety when we delve into the gender-specific data. For every 10,000 full-time male employees in the private sector, 91.7 have experienced injuries severe enough to necessitate time off. In contrast, this rate is slightly lower among their female counterparts, with 80.4 out of 10,000 full-time female employees facing similar incidents.

    This not only shows the risks prevalent in the workplace but also highlights a subtle yet significant difference in the experiences of male and female employees when it comes to workplace injuries.
    • California reported a workplace incident rate of 2.3 per 100,000 full-time employees, while Texas recorded a 3.8 per 100,000 full-time employees.5
    • Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, West Virginia, South Dakota, and Mississippi had incident rates exceeding the national average of 11.5, 9.9, 9.6, 7.9, 6.9, and 6.7 per 100,000 full-time workers, respectively.5
    • Arkansas, Delaware, and Georgia were the top three safest states, with workplace injury rates below the national average.5
    • Other states with nonfatal workplace illness and injury rates below the national average of 2.8% include Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.5
    • Alabama, Illinois, Maryland, Missouri, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Utah had workplace injury rates similar to the national average.5
    Work-related injury rate by age

    • On average, individuals who experienced workplace injuries in the US missed approximately 8 days of work.5
    • In the US, heavy and tractor-trailer truck drivers averaged 19 days of work missed, light truck drivers averaged 20 days, and material movers and maintenance workers averaged 12 days of work missed.5
    • During the peak of the pandemic in the US, line cooks experienced a 60% increase in mortality.5
    • 9 out of every 100 workers in the private industry in the United States experienced workplace injuries that caused them to miss at least one day of work.5
    • In 2022, European workers had an incidence rate of 68 claims per 1,000 FTEs for all work-related injury claims and 11 for entitlement payment claims.6
    • Māori employees reported an incidence rate of 78 for all claims and 15 for entitlement payment claims in the same year.6
    • Pacific peoples experienced the highest incidence rate for all claims at 99, with an entitlement payment claim rate of 15 in 2022.6
    • Asian workers showed an incidence rate of 57 for all work-related injury claims and 9 for entitlement payment claims during 2022.6
    • Workers classified into the ‘Other’ ethnic group, which includes Middle Eastern, Latin American, African, and other ethnicity categories, had the highest incidence rate for entitlement payment claims at 31 and an overall incidence rate of 180 for all claims in 2022.6

    Demographic statistics remind us that workplace safety is a concern that transcends mere numbers. It's a matter of social justice, equality, and opportunity for all.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q1. What is a workplace injury?

    A workplace injury is any physical harm or medical condition resulting from work-related activities. These injuries can range from minor cuts and bruises to more severe conditions like fractures, sprains, or even life-threatening incidents.

    Q2. What are the most common types of workplace injuries?

    Common workplace injuries include slips, trips, and falls; ergonomic-related injuries (like repetitive strain injuries); machinery accidents; burns, chemical exposure; and transportation-related accidents.

    Q3. Does the law cover workplace injuries?

    Yes, workplace injuries are typically covered by workers' compensation laws in many countries. Workers' compensation provides financial benefits and medical coverage to employees who are injured on the job. However, the specific laws and regulations can vary by jurisdiction.

    Q4. What should I do if I'm injured at work?

    If you're injured at work, you should immediately report the injury to your supervisor or employer. Seek medical attention as needed. In most cases, you'll need to fill out a workers' compensation claim form to initiate the process of receiving benefits.

    Q5. How can workplace injuries be prevented?

    Preventing workplace injuries involves employee training, maintaining a safe work environment, properly using safety equipment, and adhering to safety protocols. Regular safety inspections and reporting of hazards are also essential in preventing injuries.

    Wrapping Up

    Workplace injuries are a sobering reminder of the challenges we face in ensuring the safety and well-being of employees across various industries. While the numbers may paint a stark picture, they also hold the potential to inspire change.

    By acknowledging the issues highlighted by these statistics and taking proactive steps to address them, we can work towards a future where workplace injuries are reduced to a minimum.

    Our collective responsibility is to prioritize safety, implement effective measures, and create a work environment where every individual can return home safely at the end of the day. In doing so, we protect our workforce's physical health and uphold every worker's dignity and value.

    flair can play a crucial role in addressing workplace injuries. The flair solution can help companies develop and communicate comprehensive workplace safety protocols, training programs, and injury response strategies.

    Boost safety and cut injury risks. Embrace flair's culture of vigilance and top-notch safety standards.

    Book a demo today


    1. BLS Report [Employer-Reported Workplace Injuries And Illnesses – 2021-2022]
    2. BLS [Injuries, Illnesses, and Fatalities]
    3. Eurostat
    4. ABS Australia
    5. Zippia
    6. Stats NZ
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