construction workers at construction site

What Is the Most Dangerous Industry To Work In?

When determining the most dangerous industry to work in, the answer differs depending on the measure of danger. A study by the National Safety Council ranks the most dangerous industries by death rate, number of deaths, nonfatal injury and illness rate, and number of nonfatal injury and illness. 

According to the National Safety Council, the construction industry has experienced the most fatal injuries since 2012. The rankings for the top 10 most dangerous U.S. industries to work in by number of deaths are as follows:

  1. Construction 
  2. Transportation and warehousing
  3. Agriculture, forestry, fishing
  4. Government
  5. Professional and business services
  6. Manufacturing
  7. Retail trade
  8. Leisure and hospitality
  9. Other services
  10. Wholesale trade

Top 5 Most Common Causes of Workplace Injuries

Slip, trip, and falls

According to U.S. construction injury statistics compiled by the attorneys at Liles White PLLC, over 45% of the total fatal workplace injuries from slip, trip, and falls occurred in the construction industry in 2020. As the leading cause of workplace death, slip, trip, and fall accidents can occur in multiple ways including wet or slippery surfaces, weather hazards such as ice, poor lighting, uneven walkways, uncovered cables, and clutter. Falling from high surfaces can result in serious injuries including spinal cord injury, paralysis, traumatic brain injury, or death. 

Transportation incidents or motor vehicle accidents

From the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data on fatal occupational injuries by industry, a total of 1,778 fatal work-related injuries occurred from transportation incidents in 2020.  Motor vehicle crashes are the leading event causing fatal workplace accidents in the transportation and warehousing industry. Given the nature of the transportation and warehousing industry, vehicle related accidents are not uncommon and can involve being struck by a moving vehicle, being crushed or stuck under an overturned vehicle, or being stuck by objects falling from a vehicle. Across all industries, over 37% of work-related deaths were due to transportation accidents in 2020. 

Struck by or caught in heavy machinery

Heavy machinery can be a hazard in many ways, especially when there is poor maintenance or lack of protection while using. Most often occurring in factories, farming, and construction, heavy machinery accidents can result in severe injuries including crush injuries, severed fingers, and cuts and lacerations. In 2020, 716 deaths occurred from accidents caused by contact with equipment at work. 

Fires and explosions

Several industries have risks of fires and explosions which can result in serious injuries. In 2020, a total of 71 fatal workplace injuries occurred from fires and explosions in the U.S. These workplace accidents can involve open flames, gas leaks, and combustible materials. Injuries from fire and explosions can include varying degrees of burns and body disfigurement from sustaining blast injuries. 

Repetitive motion 

Injuries caused by repetitive motion in the workplace are long-term injuries which can affect many parts of the body. Repetitive stress injuries are a common workers’ compensation claim and can either mildly or severely impair the performance of a worker. These injuries are some of the most costly work injuries and often result in days away from work.

Can You Sue After Being Injured at Work?

Suffering an injury from work is a difficult situation to experience. Not only does it result in days away from work and the cost of medical bills, experiencing a workplace accident can be a traumatic event to recover from physically and emotionally. If a third party is responsible for your injuries at work, you are able to file a civil lawsuit and seek workers’ compensation benefits. Speaking with a skilled work injury lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and determine the appropriate compensation you deserve. The New Mexico personal injury attorneys at Liles White PLLC have handled a range of complex workplace injury cases including trucking accidents, construction accidents, and oil field injuries. The attorneys at Liles White PLLC have the experience to help you secure maximum compensation and can provide expert legal assistance as you focus on recovering from your injuries.