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Top five common workplace non-fatal injuries

By Diane Parker

Published In: Personal Injury

For several years the number of self-reported non-fatal injuries has shown a downward trend, mainly due to improved health and safety laws. However, according to the latest HSE statistics 35.2 million working days were lost during 2022/23.  

In the same period, there were 1.8 million people suffering from work-related illness, across all sectors including construction, agriculture, retail and offices.

Here’s the five most common workplace injuries reported during 2022/23:  

1. Slips, trips and falls

Slips, trips and falls account for 32% of all non-fatal workplace injuries in the UK. The most likely cause is a slippery floor which hasn’t been signposted. Tripping over uneven flooring, wires, pipes or objects left lying about is also common. 

2. Handling, lifting, or carrying

Manual handling injuries account for 17% of workplace injuries. Employers have a duty to ensure that all staff who need to lift or carry, are properly trained. They must also ensure the correct lifting/carrying equipment is also available where the load weight dictates it.

3. Hit by a moving object

Being hit by a moving object account for 11% of non-fatal injuries. This could be something falling from roofs or racking or a vehicle moving around the premises. Employers must ensure that their employees are not near unguarded moving objects and are protected where someone is working over-head. Walkways must be provided in areas where vehicles, such as forklifts are operating.

4. Falls from height

Falls from height only accounted for 8% of non-fatal injuries, but they are one of the main causes of fatal injury. For this reason, there are very strict rules around working at height, including the maximum height for working from ladders. Employees must have specialist training and be supplied with safety equipment, such as harnesses and scaffolding.

5. Violence

Violence at work accounted for 8% of injuries, including a range of physical injuries from bruising to broken bones. This means that thousands of people were either physically assaulted or threatened with violence while just doing their job. These figures will include employees injured while working off-site.  

Other common workplace injuries include cuts and lacerations, damaged hearing through exposure to loud noises, lung damage caused by inhaling toxic fumes, and repetitive strain injuries.  

Diane Parker , joint head of personal injury commented: “Although workplace accidents have been steadily falling for a number of years, unfortunately in the last couple of years we have seen workplace accidents return to pre-pandemic levels. This was following a sharp drop in 2020 as many workers were furloughed or worked from home. Claims have however remained low.”

Have you been injured at work?

World Day for Safety and Health at Work falls on 28 April each year. The initiative is an annual campaign promoting safe, healthy and decent work around the globe.

Workers' Memorial Day also takes place annually on 28 April, and is an international day of remembrance for workers killed, injured or made unwell in the workplace.

HSE reported that 135 works were killed in work-related accidents in 2022/23. The biggest causes were falls from heights, being struck by moving objects and being trapped. Additionally, 68 members of the public were also killed in work-related accidents (2022/23).

These awareness days offer an opportunity to highlight preventable workplace accidents and fatalities, and to raise awareness of improvements to be made in the workplace.

Despite the number of accidents per year in the workplace falling, they do still occur. All employees are owed a duty of care by their employer, and regulations must be adhered to. Employees also have certain steps they must take to ensure the safety of themselves and others.

If you’ve been injured in the workplace, you may be able to claim compensation. Call and speak to our friendly accident at the workplace claims team and let’s see if we can help you get your life back on track. Call 01302 320621 or email .


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Diane has worked in the legal sector for 33 years.  She is Joint Head of Switalskis’ Personal Injury department.

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