Common Causes of On-the-Job Injuries in the United States

Many risks and hazards can cause serious injuries and even deaths while at work in the United States. Sadly, not all employers take the safety and health of their employees seriously. This increases the odds of workplace disasters. According to the Texas Department of Insurance, there were a total of 178,600 reportable non-fatal work accidents in 2020 alone. Identifying the most common causes of workplace injuries in Texas and the U.S. as a whole can help you prevent an injury from your occupation.


Overexertion is consistently ranked as one of the top causes of injuries and deaths among workers in the United States. “Overexertion and bodily reaction” can refer to the excessive physical effort while performing job-related tasks, such as heavy lifting, carrying, pushing or throwing. Overexertion can lead to stress, exhaustion, collapse, heatstroke, dehydration, and muscle injuries. Employers should provide adequate rest and meal breaks to help prevent overexertion.


Falls are one of the most common accidents that send workers to hospitals each year. They are the number one cause of worker death in the construction industry, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fall accidents are also common in many other industries and workplaces. Falls can refer to slip, trip, and fall accidents at ground level as well as falls from heights to a lower level. Falls can result in serious injuries, including broken bones, head trauma, brain injuries, hip fractures, and spinal cord injuries.

Struck-By Objects or Equipment

Contact with objects and equipment at work is the third leading cause of on-the-job injuries in the U.S. Many work environments contain dangerous objects or equipment, including heavy machinery, ropes, wires, electrical components, and sources of heat. Contact with these hazards can be harmful, especially when there are falling or flying objects that strike the skull. Falling debris at a demolition site, for example, can strike workers and cause severe injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.

Transportation Accidents

Another common cause of injuries and deaths at work in the U.S. is transportation accidents. Collisions and other incidents involving delivery vans, commercial trucks, tractors, construction equipment, ATVs, and other work vehicles can cause broken bones, crush injuries, lacerations and more. Transportation accidents are a significant injury risk in almost every industry but are more common in industries that center around the transportation of goods, such as commercial trucking.

Caught-In or Between Machinery or Equipment

Working around heavy machineries, such as cranes and equipment used at construction sites, can run the risk of a worker’s limbs or body parts being pulled into the machine. If a machine is missing a protective guard, for instance, a worker’s arm could be pulled inside and crushed or amputated. Many other types of physical contact with dangerous machines and equipment can also cause serious worker injuries. It is an employer’s responsibility to protect workers from foreseeable risks associated with necessary work equipment.

Repetitive Motions

Although traumatic accidents are often behind worker injuries in the U.S., they are not the only potential cause of harm. Occupational injuries can also arise from repetitive motions, such as a worker constantly bending and lifting objects, working on an assembly line, harvesting crops on a farm, or typing at a computer. Repetitive motions over an extended period can cause injuries such as pulled muscles, herniated disks, damaged tendons or ligaments, nerve damage, tennis elbow, and carpal tunnel syndrome.

Contact an Attorney for Your On-the-Job Injury in Texas

If you suffer an injury or illness connected to your occupation in San Antonio, Texas, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal options. You may be eligible for financial recovery through both a workers’ compensation claim and a personal injury lawsuit. A lawyer can review all of your options and choose the best step forward for your individual case. Call (210) 899-5031 today for a free case consultation at Hill Law Firm.

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