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

Dec 11, 2013, 05:20 ET from

EAGAN, Minn., Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- 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:



Repetitive motion      

(e.g., carpal tunnel syndrome)


Injured by machinery 

or struck by object


Motor vehicle accident             


Other musculoskeletal injury  

(e.g., overexertion, lifting, back pain, etc.)


Workplace violence          


Burn (heat or chemical)     




(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. "Workers have rights to safety in the workplace, and 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.

Michelle Croteau