When you think of dangerous jobs, the first thing that likely comes to your mind is something like police officer or a firefighter, something daring and dangerous. You likely wouldn’t think of nursing home aide or fish farming, neither seeming to be especially death defying. Though they may not sound like particularly terrifying professions, the latest survey by the U.S. Labor Department indicates they are among the most dangerous jobs for workers in terms of the number of on-the-job injuries. To learn more, keep reading.
According to the Labor Department survey, there were about 2.9 million nonfatal workplace accidents and injuries last year in the private sector. Public sector jobs accounted for an additional 750,000. These numbers mean that three of every 100 full-time employees suffered some form of injury or illness due to their work.
It’s important to remember that these rates are averages, and that the rates for individual professions can vary widely. For instance, those working in the aquaculture industry, meaning those responsible for fish farming, have the highest rate of non-deadly injury, coming in at a whopping 13.6 injuries per 100 full-time workers, several times more than average.
Those working in nursing homes or other state-run health care facilities are a close second, with injury rates of 12 injured workers per 100 full-time employees. Number three on the list is police officers, followed closely behind by furniture manufacturers, not a job that most would consider as dangerous as law enforcement.
Another interesting bit of information from the survey is that your likelihood of suffering serious injury at work can depend a lot on whether or not you work for a public or private company. Take nursing, for instance. Those in state-run facilities suffer exceptionally high rates of injury, 12 injured workers out of 100. What about employees of private sector residential care facilities? The injury rates drops by almost half, only 6.8 injuries per 100 workers.
Experts aren’t yet sure about the cause of the injuries, though they have some clues given answers from years past. Workplace violence is something that routinely causes injury, something that impacts police officers and, surprisingly, those in the health care industry. Hazardous materials are a problem for those in certain industrial jobs, while machinery malfunction can cause harm to those in the manufacturing business. Finally, simple things like trips and falls are responsible for causing harm to those across nearly every industry.
Ending on a bit of a happy note, what job is among the safest? Perhaps unsurprisingly, those who do data processing are among the least likely to suffer workplace accidents or injuries. According to the Labor Department data, only 0.3 injuries occur per 100 workers.