Most Common Workplace Injuries

Many types of injuries can happen at home and in the workplace. While you can have a good deal of control over your domestic arrangements and take preventative action when at home, at your workplace you may not be able to do so unless taking such action falls within your remit. Here are some details of the most common workplace injuries and how by giving them attention you can prevent them.

According to the most recent government statistics, the most common types of workplace accidents resulting in injuries can be divided into the following categories:

  • Types of collisions
    • With moving machinery
    • With flying, moving or falling objects
    • With something stationary or fixed
  • Injuries due to handling, lifting or carrying
  • Slips, trips and falls on a level surface
  • Falls from a height
  • Injuries sustained when something overturns or collapses
  • Physical assaults by another person

Breakdown of workplace injuries

Statistics made available from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) via a Labour Force Survey (LFS) in November 2016 indicated 622,000 workplace accidents had occurred during the previous year. The prevalence of each self-reported type of injury was recorded and compared with statistics from previous 12-month periods.


By far the largest group, injuries involving types of collisions totalled an estimated 134,000 incidents.

  • An estimated 44,000 collisions involved moving machinery – for example, injury caused by a vehicle such as a forklift truck.
  • Even more (61,000) were collisions with moving, flying or falling objects – for example, if an object stored at height, such as a container, unexpectedly fell to the ground.
  • Approximately 29,000 collisions were with something stationary – for example, if an employee collided with an immovable object or surface.

Moving objects

The reported injuries because of collisions are in line with previous years. However, a lower average was recorded compared to previous years for injuries sustained when employees were lifting, handling or carrying objects. In total, 122,000 workers were hurt in this way. The fact that this is lower than previously recorded most likely reflects the increased precautions employers are taking to ensure workplace safety is improved when it comes to managing heavy goods.

Other injuries

No other types of injuries reflect a statistically significant difference from previous years.

  • Slips and falls were recorded at an average of 119,000 (excluding falls from a height); this might be because of an employee tripping or falling on a wet or slippery surface.
  • Falls from height were recorded at an average of 37,000; this includes falls from ladders, roofs and scaffolding.
  • Injuries from overturning or collapsing items were recorded at 8,000; such injuries might result from stacks of objects that, for example, became unsteady.
  • Physical assaults causing injury were recorded at 41,000; unfortunately, workplace complaints, disputes and bullying sometimes result in disagreements and subsequent physical violence.

There were also 159,000 injuries because of other types of accident, or 6.22 per cent of all workplace injuries.

Disclaimer: The information provided through Legislation Watch is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Legislation Watch is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.

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