Nature of Injury

Definition - What does Nature of Injury mean?

Nature of injury identifies the primary physical characteristics of an injury. It provides a description of the damage relating to the part of the body that is affected. Nature of injury is one of the eight categories used by the Association of Workers' Compensation Boards of Canada (AWCBC) to classify injuries in the workplace. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in the United States, considers nature of injury to refer to the physical characteristics of the injury.

WorkplaceTesting explains Nature of Injury

Nature of injury is a way of classifying and identifying injuries in the workplace. The exact definition and classification methods vary based on the jurisdiction of government agencies. Specifically, the United States and Canada look at nature of injury differently. However, it still all boils down to a method of classifying injuries.

In accordance with the National Work Injuries Statistics Program, there are several groupings that injuries can be classified under:


  • Nature of Injury
  • Part of Body
  • Source
  • Event
  • Industry
  • Occupation
  • Province or Territory
  • Gender and Age


Nature of injury characterizes the damage to the body. For instance, a sprain to the ankle specifies the body part as being the ankle and the nature of the injury being a sprain.


Where more than one injury is relevant, the primary injury must be identified and not the injuries that occur as a side-effect, complication, or subsequently to the original injury. If there are several injuries that occurred in the same instance, the most serious injury should be identified.

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