Any job can be dangerous, and workers need to understand their right to workers' compensation if an injury happens. Unfortunately, some jobs are more likely than others to cause serious or even fatal injuries. By taking a close look at data on which jobs are the deadliest, employers, employees, and safety experts can develop a better understanding of where to focus the most energy when it comes to reducing the risks of workplace harm.
The American Council on Science and Health reported on the deadliest jobs. The data was based on information compiled from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which assesses the injury rate across different occupations.
The research revealed that the deadliest job industry is the farming, fishing, and forestry industry. For people within this professional, there were 24.7 deaths per 100,000 workers. This was not the industry with the highest number of total work deaths though. That dubious honor went to the transportation and material moving industry, with 1,346 deaths. However, since there are different numbers of workers in different sectors, the rate of deaths per 100,000 is a more accurate representation of which industry is most dangerous than simply looking at the total number of fatalities.
Transportation and material moving did have the second highest rate of death per 100,000 workers, with 15.4 employees killed for every 100,000 people working in this professional. Construction and extraction came in third in terms of the rate of workers killed, with 12.1 fatalities for every 100,000 workers. Finally, the industry with the fourth highest death rate was installation, maintenance and repair. Within this sector, there were 8.1 fatalities for every 100,000 workers with jobs in the profession.
Data also shows that industries with the highest death rates on-the-job also ended up having employees with some of the highest suicide rates. For example, there were higher suicide rates among people in the farming, fishing, and forestry industry than any other profession, and this professional also happens to have the highest on-the-job death rate. Construction and extraction workers had the next highest suicide rates across all industries; and installation, maintenance and repair workers had the third highest rates of suicide.
Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Council on Science and Health indicate that it should come as no surprise that the highest rates of suicide occur among people with the most dangerous jobs. On-the-job stress is elevated in high-risk professions, and career stress can be a major driving factor in causing people to consider death by suicide.
Employers in high-risk industries need to be aware of the risks not only of on-the-job deaths which could occur but also of the fact their workers are so stressed they are killing themselves in higher numbers. Taking steps to protect employees could save lives and prevent employer liability for on-the-job injuries, and it could also help to reduce the suicide rate.