Many employees face particular dangers depending on their work environments. For example, a commercial fisherman is more likely to suffer a workplace fatality than a truck driver, but the odds are much higher for a trucker to lose his life on the job than an office worker.
In order to assess workplace risk, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) examines the death rate of workers by industry every year. There were 4,836 fatal workplace injuries reported in 2015—the most on record since 2008.
What Are the Most Dangerous Jobs in the U.S.?
The logging and fishing industries continually result in the highest number of worker deaths, but there are a number of other factors that impact employees in other occupations. High workplace injury and death rates are also associated with:
- Heavy machinery. Professions that involve heavy machinery are inherently perilous. Loggers had an overwhelming death rate of 133 deaths per 100 workers—twice the death rate of fishing workers, the second most dangerous occupation. Aircraft pilots and flight engineers took third place.
- Heights. Workplace falls are prevalent in occupations such as roofing, construction, and structural iron and steel workers.
- Driving. Truck drivers, delivery workers, and collectors of garbage and recycling are more likely to suffer dangerous collisions. Truckers who operate tractor-trailers suffered the highest number of fatal injuries of any occupation—recent BLS data indicates 745 employees died on the job.
- Safety concerns. Many hazardous industries rely on safety regulations to protect their workers. If these measures aren't followed, employees who install and service electrical lines are at risk of falls and electrocution, while agricultural and landscaping workers can suffer crush injuries, amputations, and asphyxiation.
- Age. Just like minority employees, older workers face particular dangers on the job. In fact, 650 employees aged 65 and older were killed as a result of workplace injuries—one of the highest ever death rates for the group since 1992. The percentage of employees above the age of 55 is increasing due to financial constraints, and BLS estimates that older Americans will comprise up to 25 percent of the workforce by 2024. Not only are older people at higher risk of falls and other accidents, but also take longer to recover from injuries.
- Ethnicity. The American economy relies on minority workers in several key industries. However, Hispanic and Latino workers are at especial risk of death on the job, with 903 fatal injuries occurring in 2015.
While families are entitled to death benefits after a workplace fatality, these cases are often complicated by third parties. Over 17 percent of people killed on the job in 2015 suffered an accident while working for a third-party contractor, such as another business or government entity, rather than their direct employer.
In these cases, it's a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced Florida workers’ compensation attorney to determine which entity is responsible for your loved one’s death. Call fill out the form on this page to speak to an attorney at no cost to you.