Did you know there were over 600,000 recorded workplace injuries in England in 2010-2011? Of these, over 200,000 resulted in an average of more than three days absence from work. 

A summary of the most common workplace accidents and how to avoid them.

Knowledge is one of the best forms of prevention. Hazard awareness means you are more likely to avoid an accident, so below is a selection of some of the most common workplace injuries.

Slip, trips and falls

Falls are the most common accidents and can occur in any work setting.  From factory floors to shop floors, spillages and slippery surfaces present hazards in all manner of industries.

Sometimes these accidents are down to inadequate management. However, it’s equally important that you’re always aware of your environment and the surfaces you’re walking on.

It is always advisable to walk according to the conditions of the floor, especially during rainy periods or if you work with liquid materials.

Muscle strains

Back and neck strains can occur in a range of working environments but are most common in those that require you to partake in heavy lifting.

If you’re required to lift heavy items then it’s your employer’s responsibility to provide basic safety training such as lifting techniques.

Where appropriate, your employer should provide the necessary tools such as back braces and other useful equipment that minimises the risk of sustaining an injury.

Repetitive Strain Injury

Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) is also known as work-related upper limb disorder and describes the muscle, nerve and tendon pain stemming from repetitive movements and overuse.

Many employers undertake workplace assessments to prevent this condition from affecting their staff, but you can also take matters into your own hands by taking breaks, having good posture and finding a comfortable typing style.


Toxic chemicals, fumes or gases can have a negative impact on the health of workers in factory and lab environments.

Inhalations can cause skin and eye reactions, respiratory problems and can leave workers needed hospital care.

Employees should also be provided with safety goggles and other protective equipment, including breathing masks, so it is your job to make sure you wear them whenever you are working with dangerous substances.

Toppling incidents

A workplace environment that involves stocking shelves can lead to you being toppled over by falling objects.

This is mostly due to shelves being badly organized or by not taking sufficient care when reaching for shelves.

Making a claim if you’re injured

Employers have a legal responsibility to minimise the risk of accidents in the workplace by providing a safe working environment, suitable training and appropriate safety equipment.

If your employer has breached any aspect of this duty of care or the negligence of another member of staff caused your injury, that’s the time to speak to a specialist solicitor about making a workplace accident claim.