December 11, 2013

One in Five Americans Has Been Injured on the Job, Says New Survey

EAGAN, Minn. – More than one in five Americans say they have been injured on the job. That’s the finding of a new survey from, the most popular legal information website.

According to the survey, twenty-one percent of American adults say that they have suffered an injury while on the job that was serious enough for them to take time off of work. The vast majority of injuries involve slip-and-fall accidents, repetitive motion injuries such as carpal tunnel syndrome, and other musculoskeletal injuries.

Type of injury:

  • Falling/slipping   31%
  • Repetitive motion   20%
    (e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)
  • Injured by machinery or struck by object  17%
  • Motor vehicle accident    12%
  • Other musculoskeletal injury   37%
    (e.g., overexertion, lifting, back pain, etc.)
  • Workplace violence   5%
  • Burn (heat or chemical)    3%
  • Other   9%

(Note: figures total more than 100% due to multiple injuries)

Twenty-six percent of men say they have suffered an injury while working compared with sixteen percent of women. While men were more likely to be injured by being caught in machinery or struck by an object, women were more likely to suffer repetitive motion injuries, such as carpal tunnel syndrome. 

“Workplaces are rife with potential hazards,” said Stephanie Rahlfs, an attorney-editor at “Injuries are by no means limited to manufacturing and construction work. Even office environments can produce carpal tunnel syndrome, injuries from lifting heavy objects or slip-and-fall accidents. In addition, motor vehicle accidents are a common source of on-the-job injuries. And workplace violence, including physical assault from a co-worker, is clearly a hazard in today’s workplace according to our survey results.

“In most states, workers' compensation (also called workers' comp and workman's comp) applies to on-the-job injuries,” continued Rahlfs. ““There are many laws in place to help ensure safety in the workplace, and workers should understand both employers’ obligations as well as benefits that are available to injured workers.”

Information on workers’ compensation and employee rights can be found at free websites such as the FindLaw Accidents & Injuries Center (  

The FindLaw survey was conducted using a demographically balanced survey of 1,000 American adults and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3 percent.

Note to editors: Full survey results and analysis are available upon request.


FindLaw, part of Thomson Reuters, is a leading provider of business development solutions for small law firms. Through its team of legal marketing experts, FindLaw drives the industry by delivering a comprehensive portfolio of proven online and offline marketing solutions designed to connect law firms with targeted prospective clients. FindLaw is also home to the largest online directory of lawyers and (, the most popular legal website with more than six million people visiting each month for free information about a legal topic, to solve a legal problem or to find a lawyer.

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