Every different career and each unique work environment inspires unique health and safety concerns for individual employees. Certain kinds of injuries are more common than others and could potentially lead to lasting job performance issues.

Shoulder injuries, for example, could make it difficult for someone to reach over their head, file paperwork or lift parts on a production line. Any of those limitations could affect someone’s ability to do their job well. There are many ways for people to hurt their shoulders while at work, but the three scenarios below are probably the most common sources of shoulder injuries on the job.


A fall is a safety concern even if someone never goes up to any significant elevation to perform their job. Hospital workers, short-order cooks and office employees frequently suffer notable injuries on the job because they fall. A same-level fall where someone attempts to catch or brace themselves could very easily result in a shoulder injury that could take weeks to heal.

Repetitive motions

Someone who has to perform the same basic job functions repeatedly every day for many years can slowly cause trauma to their musculature and connective tissue. Shoulders have relatively vulnerable joints and could easily be the site of a repetitive stress injury that develops due to cumulative workplace trauma. Someone who frequently lifts, twists and grips on the job could find that they have painful symptoms in their shoulders that affect their job performance after a few years.

Contact with objects

There are numerous ways for someone to suffer injurious accidental contact with an object. Quite a few people get hurt in car crashes on the job, and shoulder injuries are common because of the force that travels through the arms via the steering wheel. Those working in factory and warehouse settings could end up struck by a piece of machinery that causes traumatic injury, and those that construction sites could end up hit by falling objects that leave them with traumatic shoulder injuries.

Any major injury to someone’s shoulder will likely require rest, if not treatment, and possibly a leave of absence from work. Applying for workers’ compensation benefits may be a necessary step for someone recovering from a shoulder injury incurred on the job.