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How Many Warehouse Workers Suffer Foot, Ankle Or Knee Injuries in the U.S.?

worker foot or ankle injury

In 2020, there were 192,340 lower extremity injuries affecting knees, ankles for feet suffered by U.S. workers, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These injuries happen a variety of locations in the workplace. However when it comes to warehouses, we know that the top five locations where accidents occur are:

  1. Docks
  2. Forklifts
  3. Conveyors
  4. Materials storage (racking)
  5. Manual lifting and handling

Because docks are hazardous locations for lower extremity injuries, you can make them safer in your warehouse by covering gaps that workers can step through when OTR trucks and trailers are being loaded and unloaded.

See this simple but effective safety product called the Dock Gap Guard that can be used to cover the gap on your dock.

Now let's look at some work injury statistics:

Lower Extremity Worker Injuries by Type in 2020 

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 Type of worker injury

Number of worker injuries in the USA, all sectors, in 2020

Lower extremities (including knee, ankle, foot)


Of those workers, here are the statistics for lower extremity injuries suffered by warehouse workers and trucking transportation workers in 2020.

Lower Extremity Injuries in the Warehouse and Truck Transportation by Type in 2020 

Source of statistics: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

 Work sector

All lower extremity injuries




All warehousing and storage
1,900 1,660 2,020
General warehousing and storage
1,760 1,460 1860
Refrigerated warehousing and storage
110 130 110
Other warehousing and storage
140 50 30 40
Truck transportation

How many warehouses and warehouse workers are there in the USA?

There are more than 400,000 warehouse in the U.S. and there are more than 827,000 warehouse workers (2018 statistics).

Statistics for accidents and safety in the warehouse environment

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, tripping, falling and slipping make up most of what it calls “general industry accidents.” Slip and fall accidents make up 15 percent of all accidental deaths, 25 percent of all injury claims and – are you ready? – 95 million lost work days each year.

    What are the top three warehouse injury types?

    The top three warehouse injuries are: 
    1. Slip and fall
    2. Injury from lifting, pushing, pulling, and reaching
    3. Material handling / forklift accidents.

    How many workers are injured in forklift accidents? 

    As many as 20,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents annually. About 1 in 4 or 25% occur when a forklift flips over.

    Cost of forklift accidents per decade

    An estimated $86 million in damage to U.S. warehouses and plants will occur during a 10-year period due to improper, careless operation of powered industrial trucks.

    Annual U.S. forklift accident deaths

    85 people are killed in U.S. forklift accidents each year. Forklift accidents that result in serious injury total 34,900 annually.

    Causes of pallet rack failure

    The cause of pallet rack failure are as follows:
    1. Damage from forklift
    2. Racks overloaded
    3. Racks with altered configurations
    4. Change in operation (such as rearrangement)
    5. Incorect use of equipment
    6. Buying smaller rack capacity to save money
    7. Faulty equipment.

      How much can a worker injury cost a company?

      According to the National Safety Council, the average direct cost to a company for a worker injury is $38,000 in direct costs and $150,000 in indirect costs.

      Top 10 areas in which OSHA issues citations

      Here the the 10 areas where OSHA issues fines:

      1. forklifts
      2. hazard communication
      3. electrical/wiring methods
      4. electrical/system design
      5. guarding floor and wall openings and holes
      6. exits
      7. mechanical power transmission
      8. respiratory protection,
      9. lockout/tagout
      10. portable fire extinguishers.

      OSHA fines for violations in 2021

      OSHA's maximum penalties for serious and other-than-serious violations will increase from is $13,653 per violation as of 2021. The maximum penalty for willful or repeated violations is $136,532 per violation.

      Questions about Dock Gap Guard?

      Learn how the Dock Gap Guard can be used to cover gaps between your warehouse dock and an OTR truck so that workers don't accidentally injure themselves during loading and unloading. Or send a product question to us at support@warehouseiq.com.