The risk of getting hurt on the job is a reality that every worker faces. The Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimates that in 2015, approximately three million workers suffered from either an illness or injury that was job-related. Over half of these workers had to take time off work to recover, required a job transfer or had restrictions on the work they could do as a result of the injury or illness. While three million seems high, it was actually a lower rate than in prior years.
Some industries have an inherently higher level of danger than others, but companies have been making progress in promoting safer workplaces. This has played a significant role in reducing the instances of workplace injuries and illnesses. Unfortunately, smaller companies still view the promotion of safety standards as a cost instead of an investment in their workforce. In addition, certain industries also have higher rates of job-related injuries and illnesses. Do you work in one of these high-risk jobs?
The air transportation industry - which includes everyone from airplane and helicopter pilots, flight attendants, cargo handlers and mechanics - is one of the safer industries on this list, despite inherent dangers that put it on the high-risk list nevertheless. This sector has an average injury rate of 5.8 per 100 workers.
Manufacturing wood products
While manufacturing generally has fairly high injury rate, the wood product sub-sector is the most dangerous for manufacturing workers. This is because wood product manufacturing requires the use of sawing, planing, shaping and various other tasks that bring workers into close contact with very sharp and dangerous machinery.
Couriers and messengers
The bike courier and messenger industry has an average rate of 6.4 injuries per 100 workers. Due to the nature of the industry, these workers are at risk of collisions involving motor vehicles.
Nurses and staff who work in nursing and other long-term care facilities have one of the highest rates of injuries at 6.5 per 100 workers. Many of these injuries result from lifting patients. Also, privately run facilities have almost half the rate of injuries as government-run facilities.
Animal raising and production
The raising of animals on ranches and farms as well as feedlots is one of the most dangerous jobs in the country. Approximately 6.6 workers out of 100 suffer from job-related injuries or illnesses.
If you work in one of the above industries, you could be at a higher risk of a workplace accident than other workers. If you have suffered such a mishap, you might be able to file for workers' compensation.