Safety Survey
Uncommon Injury Claims
Safety Survey

The Wild West of Workplace Hazards

A list of uncommon small business injury claims

illustrated image of worker stuck in concrete

Please note: the following article was developed for educational purposes only and covers a wide variety of general workplace safety concerns and considerations, some not relevant to workers’ compensation coverage. 

We recently conducted a comprehensive workplace safety survey of 1,034 small business owners as defined by companies with 1-500 employees. Below is a list of the most uncommon claims that business owners shared with us:

  • A bird flew into a worker's face while they were on the roof of a house and broke their nose. 
  • A broken foot that happened as a result of an employee frantically running away from a spider.
  • A customer opened champagne and got popped on the eye by the hit from its cork.
  • A dancer fell during a performance with his partner, started coughing non stop, got diagnosed with asthma, given steroids then found out it was the fault of the fall. His throat swelled and the more he coughed the more it swelled, a roller coaster of events.
  • A man accidently set himself on fire. He was attempting to burn trash at the drill site but used gasoline instead of diesel. It scarred his whole body.
  • A slip from being chased by a chicken.
  • A woman had an injury where a robotic arm grabbed her and inflicted trauma on her chest. She was operating a device and checking whether it could grasp and pick up something. Hard to explain what exactly happened.
  • Employee fell from a ladder that was upside down.
  • Finger broken when driver stepped from the truck and caught his wedding rings on the truck handle.
  • I got bitten both by dogs and bed bugs during a home visit.
  • I've witnessed an employee walk into a glass door that they thought was open. They injured their nose.
  • Nurse was trying to show a person how to use an Epipen on a "demonstration" device, only to find out it was an actual Epipen and jammed the needle with epinephrine into her finger. The needle bent and got stuck. She had to have it removed surgically and her heart rate was super high due to the epinephrine.
  • One of my cooks dipped their hand into still hot caramel and got 2nd degree burns.
  • One of the girls broke their toe because they were wearing flip flops.
  • The most unique injury I've seen in my time as a business owner would be when someone was accidently caught between two moving forklifts and ended up getting their leg bent at a 180 degree angle.
  • Two employees engaged in sexual activity on a desk. Desk broke, they claimed back injuries.
  • We had a landscaper, working outside, turning dirt, and a pitchfork candle, snapped and hit him in the eye resulting in the loss of that eye
  • We've had a few clients get impaled by fish hooks and one of them managed to get stuck in a very embarrassing body part. 
  • Worker somehow managed to dump a 5 gallon bucket of diluted muriatic acid down the back of his pants.
  • Worker was nipped by a wounded baby skunk. Worker should never have approached the skunk. We did have an inspector come out, check the small punctured finger and took the skunk away. It did not have rabies.

Pie Insurance commissioned Yougov PLC to conduct the survey. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1034 US small business owners, as defined by companies with 1-500 employees. Fieldwork was undertaken between 19th - 27th February 2024. The survey was carried out online.

Thanks for reading! This content is intended for educational purposes only and does not imply coverage under workers’ compensation or other insurance offered through Pie Insurance Services, Inc. Please consult an agent or attorney for any questions regarding applicability of insurance coverage in all circumstances.