While no one expects to be injured at work, some individuals are better prepared for the possibility than others due to their type of employment. Warehouses, construction sites, and other dynamic workplaces have sizable pieces of equipment and many moving parts, all of which can cause serious damage to the workers in the area. Not all workplaces pose a life-threatening risk to the employees within them, but here’s everything you need to know about America’s most dangerous workplaces.
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Injury Prone Industries
Although workplace injuries have declined 75% since 1972, there are still over 2 million people that find themselves with an on-the-job injury every year. This category is broad considering that 84% of injuries are from overexertion and slip and fall accidents. Fatalities, on the other hand, are almost always from dynamic work environments with heavy equipment and transportation vehicles due to their large size and vulnerability to human error.
Here’s a list of the most dangerous industries in America:
- Logging Industry: Workers in the logging industry are undoubtedly the most at risk of an on-the-job injury or fatality. They rely on heavy machinery and other sharp objects to perform most of their occupational tasks, which explains why the fatality rate for logging workers is 33 times the average rate of workplace injuries nationwide. On top of it all, these workers also operate in isolated areas and can’t reach medical care as quickly as others.
- Aviation Industry: Pilots and flight engineers have to check the condition and strength of their aircraft prior to departure to ensure that all the components and safety equipment are working properly. Some crashes occur due to inspection failure, but a large majority of aviation crashes are due to the human error of pilots or supporting staff. Commercial flights aren’t immune to this phenomenon, but most of the injuries and fatalities result from privately operated aircrafts.
- Oil, Gas, and Mining: This industry heavily relies on a piece of equipment called a derrick, which is the structure that holds a rotating drill in place while it mines underneath. Derricks are sizable and cumbersome, and many workers find themselves injured due to unexpected shifts during operation. These worksites also have heavy trucks and machines moving about throughout the day that can cause damage to unsuspecting workers.
- Roofing: Roofing workers operate at high altitudes and have to use extreme caution to avoid being injured. The most common cause of injury in this industry is slip and fall accidents, which is understandable considering they’re moving on slanted surfaces and using equipment like ladders to perform their occupational tasks. Weather conditions also play a part in these accidents, which lands the roofing industry as the fourth most dangerous industry to work within.
- Waste Management: It might surprise you that garbage collectors are this high on the list of dangerous industries, but their use of heavy transportation equipment makes it a significantly more hazardous job than most. The bulkiness of garbage trucks adds a level of difficulty in maneuvering the vehicles, and unsuspecting workers can easily step into harm’s way if they’re not careful. The waste management industry has a fatality rate of 34 per 100,000 workers and is significantly dangerous for the workers who operate within it.
- Iron and Steel: The fatal injury rate for iron and steel workers is 29 per 100,000 workers due to their use of heavy equipment and high altitude operation. These workers typically have to scale large buildings to install their materials, which involves ladders, cranes, and the ability to maneuver on uneven surfaces. Falls are the most common cause of injury in this industry, but workers can also become injured while using special equipment to bend, cut, and weld metals.
- Delivery and Trucking: The open road is a dangerous place for everyone involved, and those who drive transportation equipment for a living are seriously at risk of an on-the-job injury. To make matters worse, the workers often have to operate large and bulky vehicles in day-to-day traffic, which is a difficult task in itself. Traffic crashes are the leading cause of injury for this industry, with a fatality rate of 27 per 100,000 workers.
- Agriculture: Agricultural workers rely on heavy equipment and toxic substances to produce their crops and make their living. Extensive exposure to herbicides has been linked to numerous health concerns, and many farmers have found themselves with life-threatening illnesses as a result of their occupation. The leading cause of fatal injury in this industry is transportation accidents where farm equipment either malfunctions or strikes an off-guard employee.
- Firefighting: Despite their training and safety equipment, the first individuals who enter a burning structure are the ones who sustain injuries in most scenarios. Perhaps surprisingly, the most common type of injury to firemen isn’t fire-related but the result of traffic accidents. Their high-stakes occupation commonly puts the workers at risk for injury, making their job one of the more dangerous.
- Electricians: Electrical work is known to be dangerous under any circumstances, so it’s not surprising that the occupations that handle this type of work are one of the more dangerous. Even with extensive experience and caution, an accident can happen at any time and leave someone seriously injured. Those who install power lines are especially at risk of injury, as their fatal injury rate is 20 per 100,000.
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No job is worth your wellbeing, regardless of how attractive the paycheck looks. If you work in one of the previously mentioned industries, you should exercise extreme caution while on the job, as one wrong step could land you in the hospital or worse. Anyone who finds themselves injured at work should retain an attorney immediately, but choosing the right law firm to handle your case can prove to be more stressful than the injury itself. When you need an attorney to advocate for the rights that protect you relentlessly, why not choose a firm you can trust, Morgan & Morgan. Fill out a free, no-risk case evaluation to get started.
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