We’ve crunched the numbers for 2019 and identified the top causes of workplace injuries. These statistics are based on the thousands of claims we managed on behalf of our employers during the past year. Let’s take a look at the big data — then, we’ll show you how to figure the injury rates for your own company.


Top 4 Causes of Workplace Claims in 2019

In 2019, the number one cause of a workplace injury serious enough to result in a claim was:

  1. Struck by falling objects and tools.

In other words, being hit by a tool that slips out of your hand and falls from an elevated area striking workers below. This was the most likely way in which you could be hurt on the job and was responsible for 10 percent of all claims in 2019!

The next three categories were each responsible for about 6.5 percent of claims:

  1. Fall to floor, walkway, or other surface
  2. Overexertion
  3. Bodily reaction

These three groups are the sneaky injuries that can happen anytime, often brought on by a false sense of security. It takes just a moment of distraction or exertion that result in trips, falls, strains and sprains. Together, these caused nearly one in five claims during 2019.

So, nearly a third of workplace injuries (resulting in a claim) last year were the result of just four major causes. Holly Markee, safety director at Approach, says, “We can see that many accidents are caused by very simple mistakes. That’s why it’s important to review safe work practices with your employees on a regular basis; utilize job hazard analysis (JHA) to identify and mitigate hazards — even the things that seem like common sense.”

Now that we’ve seen what’s happening state-wide, let’s take a look at how to get some insights into your own company.

Nearly a third of workplace injuries (resulting in a claim) last year were the result of just four major causes.


How to reduce workplace accidents at your company

The best way to start improving safety in your workplace is to make sure you’re already following legal requirements and best practices. So, does your company have:

  • An updated Accident Prevention Program (safety document) that reflects:
    • The specific types of hazards employees will encounter, along with…
    • All the training programs needed for the work being done.
  • An onsite inspection process, in which workplaces and job sites are regularly walked to identify and fix any potential hazards.
  • A Hazard Assessment for all job tasks to assess hazards and eliminate or identify required Personal Protection Equipment.
  • A written record of safety meeting topics and attendees, or minutes from your safety committee.
  • An active and implemented Safety Communication (Enforcement) Program.


Once these essentials are covered, you can review two main sources of data to spot accident trends and develop an action plan so that injury rates can be brought down:

1. OSHA 300 log

Every company with 11 or more employees is required to keep an OSHA 300 Log of Work Related Injuries and Illnesses. The OSHA 300 is used to keep track of “every work-related death and about every work-related injury or illness that involves loss of consciousness, restricted work activity or job transfer, days away from work, or medical treatment beyond first aid.”

Fields E and F of the OSHA 300 can be useful for spotting trends in your own workplace. Field E, “Where the event occurred,” can highlight if multiple injuries have occurred in a certain location. And Field F, “Describe injury or illness, parts of body affected, and object/substance that directly injured or made person ill,” is your key to spotting if the same types of injuries are happening over-and-over.   Download the Approach guide to OSHA 300 logs and filing


2. Approach monthly report

As an Approach client, you receive a monthly composite report from us with detailed information on your claims. Included in this report is a summary of the types of injuries experienced, along with other at-a-glance information to help you understand the trends in your workplace.

The monthly composite report is a wealth of information for your safety manager and even senior leaders or company owners. It’s designed to give decision makers the data they need to quickly see the impact of workplace accidents and the opportunities to reduce both the incident rate and financial impact.

Best of all, the monthly report is automatically provided to Approach clients as part of their Retro participation.


We’ve looked at causes of injury state-wide, along with how you can determine injury rates and causes within your own company. Need help? Contact Approach for your annual safety review. Or, sign up to attend our April 2020 Brain Trust, focused on Establishing a Safety Culture (you can even attend our new Claims 201™ on the same day!)