Have you ever felt unsafe at your job? An annual study by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports on jobs and sectors by incidence rates of illnesses and injuries. Employment background investigation site, EBI took a dive into the data to determine the most dangerous jobs in the U.S.
The data shows that the most dangerous industry by far is the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing sphere. This makes sense when you consider the nature of the work is generally very physical and that the labor is often done in rural areas or at sea — which can be a distance from immediate quality medical care.
Those that work right inside hospitals, however, don’t fare much better. As the third most dangerous industry, health care workers have to deal with long hours and working closely with people who may be contagious.
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There are many reasons the medical profession is perilous include possibly mentally unstable patients. Psychiatric staffing takes on a larger percentage of incidents than other areas of medicine. Needlestick injury which occurs when a medical professional is accidentally exposed to a hypodermic that has been used on a patient with blood borne diseases, is another large concern. A peril that is not well known outside the industry is something called “smoke plume” inhalation which means breathing in the carcinogenic byproducts of laser surgery. It is truly awful for the respiratory system and over 500k workers are exposed to this danger annually.
When drilling down into specifically dangerous jobs, the prize for number one belongs to Aquaculture (fishing and fishery work). It stands at the top of the statistics for a few reasons. Partially, because of the general conditions of working with sharp objects in bad weather in a physically demanding industry, but those that work on fishing vessels and in with fish processing also suffer from generally poor safety standards in the profession, something that could be alleviated with better advocacy.
The BLS data also shows exactly what kind of injury you can expect to have if working in a particular industry. For example, the second most dangerous sector, Transportation and Warehousing, is filled with torso and back injury — strains that come from long hours of driving and hauling boxes around. That is in direct contrast with the sixth most dangerous industry, Construction, which registers higher instances of injuries to extremities like hands and arms (many caused by machinery).
And, did you know that where you live could make your job more dangerous? The most dangerous jobs analysis covers which states had the highest instances of injury. So perhaps if you are accident prone it’s better to move away from Maine — the state with the highest instance rate of injury and illness — down to Louisiana where they record the lowest injuries per capita.
Take a look at graphic below to see where your job stands in the danger index — perhaps you should invest in a better insurance plan.