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Most Common Workplace Injuries: OSHA 2020 List

Posted by EHS Insight Resources on May 11, 2021 at 3:31 PM

How do you avoid workplace injuries? There are plenty of strategies, but one of the simplest is to learn from the mistakes of others. The good news is that there’s an annual top ten list of the most common workplace injuries OSHA sees every year, hand-in-hand with OSHA’s most frequently cited violations.

The bad news? We see a lot of the usual suspects from one year to the next. Here’s a look at the most common workplace injuries OSHA cites each year, and what you can do to avoid the same mistakes.

The Top 10 List

According to data from OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, including non-fatal injuries and fatal injuries, the top ten most common workplace injuries are:

  1. Slip and fall
  2. Struck by moving object
  3. Struck against stationary objects
  4. Overexertion
  5. Repetitive motion injuries
  6. Electrocution
  7. Entanglement
  8. Motor vehicle accidents
  9. Falls from heights
  10. Workplace violence

OSHA also publishes a list of its top ten most frequently cited standards, which for 2020 were:

  1. Fall protection, construction (29 CFR 1926.501)
  2. Hazard communication, general industry (29 CFR 1910.1200)
  3. Respiratory protection, general industry (29 CFR 1910.134)
  4. Scaffolding general requirements, construction (29 CFR 1926.451)
  5. Ladders, construction (29 CFR 1926.1053)
  6. Control of hazardous energy, general industry (29 CFR 1910.147)
  7. Powered industrial trucks, general industry (29 CFR 1910.178)
  8. Fall protection, training requirements (29 CFR 1926.503)
  9. Eye and face protection (29 CFR 1926.102)
  10. Machinery and machine guarding, general requirements (29 CFR 1910.212)

Taken together, they present a clear picture of the state of safety in workplaces.

Familiar Trends

What’s interesting is that while some of these standards switched places on the list, the contents of the list did not change from 2019 to 2020. In fact, fall protection violations remained OSHA’s most cited violation for the tenth successive fiscal year.

What does that mean for employers? In a year that was defined by the coronavirus, workplace safety became more pressing than ever before, yet safety hazards remained constant. It’s a valuable lesson for employers that while we need to drive a focus on safety leadership during COVID-19, we still need to focus on the same persistent safety risks.

Key Takeaways for Employers

As an employer, these lists also serve as your best resource to beef up your safety program.

Not sure where to begin? Take a look at these lists. Together, they show you the areas where most workplaces fall short, which means there’s a decent chance your workplace faces many of the same problems. By using these lists to be proactive, you can shift out of a reactive safety mentality and avoid many of the familiar problems that land a workplace in front of OSHA in the first place.

Don’t be a statistic. Your employees deserve better, and your customers demand better.

Don’t Be a Statistic on the Most Common Workplace Injuries OSHA List

Listen, we get it. Safety is hard, especially during COVID-19. The most common workplace injuries OSHA list is just one place to start, but it’s another matter entirely to turn the list into practical safety results.

That’s where we can help, with compliance management software that allows you to see the whole picture and make practical safety decisions based on data and regulatory language. It’s precision and a people-first approach–or, as we like to call it, the right way to do safety.

Let’s work toward a healthier, safer 2021. Get in touch to learn more about how our software can help.

Topics: OSHA, Workplace Health and Safety, Compliance, Incident Management, Safety Culture, Human Resources

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