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Most Common Workplace Injuries of 2020

Posted on Dec. 11, 2020 ( comments)

2020 has been a year for the books for Washington’s workers and employers. All kinds of injuries can occur on the job, costing the employer and employee time and money. We’ve compiled MultiCare Occupational Medicine’s most common workers’ compensation visits, and how you can avoid them.

Top Reasons for Workers’ Compensation Visits in 2020

knee pain

Joint Problems

Whether it’s a knee, shoulder or elbow issue, MultiCare Occupational Medicine providers are experts in addressing joint pain at work. The primary reason behind short-term or chronic joint pain is arthritis. This is particularly common in physically demanding job roles with repetitive movements.

How to Avoid it:

  • Encourage the use of workplace equipment and tools that reduce forces, repetition, vibration, and awkward work postures in physically demanding workplaces.

wrist pain

Wrist Pain

This year, many in-person interactions have been replaced with a monitor and keyboard. Remote and office employees are increasingly susceptible to carpal tunnel syndrome and other hand and wrist pain.

How to avoid it:

  • Simple ergonomic adjustments can help prevent wrist pain. Recommendations include positioning the wrists in neutral (straight) position, the keyboard slightly lower than the level of the elbow, the shoulders held back, and the monitor at just below eye level. 


Back Injury

Workers across all industries can experience a back injury on the job. Overuse or over-stretching can lead to strained back muscles while sudden twists, pulls or pushes can cause sprains or torn ligaments. Even extensive sitting at a desk can lead to back pain or injury.

How to avoid it:

  • Training employees on proper technique while lifting and operating equipment is essential.
  • When possible, utilize more than one employee for heavy lifting tasks.
  • Incorporate stretching and team wellness into their workplace culture. Try adding a stretch break to your next meeting agenda!
  • Consider moving workers to different roles within your job settings. When an employee does the same activity for hours on end, repetitive use injuries are more likely.

hand pain

Hand or Finger Injury

At our clinics, it’s not uncommon to see a smash, pinch, slice or crunch of the hand or finger. Equipment and power tools can cause concern, but trips and falls are the most common reason behind hand and finger injuries.

How to avoid it:

  • Eliminate distractions or hazards, like cluttered spaces. Industrial and construction environments are more likely to have safety standards in place, but office settings can also find ways to talk with employees about environmental hazards like slips and falls.

Convenient, Reliable Workforce Care

Designed to meet the needs of employers and employees, MultiCare Centers of Occupational Medicine provide all the services you need from injuries and workers’ compensation management to employment physicals and drug screenings. We help manage the details, so employers can run their business and employees can get well. If an injury occurs after hours or on the weekend, our Indigo Urgent Cares are available for initial injury assessment and will seamlessly coordinate care with our Occupational Medicine providers.

As always, we are committed to health and safety in our clinics. Our team is taking every precaution, including masking, sanitizing and necessary social distancing to ensure your protection and comfort while receiving care.

About The Author

MultiCare Health System
MultiCare is a not-for-profit health care organization with more than 20,000 team members, including employees, providers and volunteers. Learn more. More stories by this author
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