What Are the Most Accident-Prone Industries?
Every year, more than 3 million American workers suffer nonfatal injuries while on the job. The Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks workplace injuries, and overall, its data shows that about 3.5% of all workers suffer a workplace injury each year. The most common injuries are muscle strains and joint sprains, accounting for about 40% of all the injuries workers suffer in the workplace.
A worker’s chances of suffering an injury while on the job increase dramatically depending on the industry in which they work. Here’s a list of the five most injury-prone workplaces in the United States.
4.4 people out of every 100 workers in the manufacturing sector get injured while on the job. Because over 11 million people work in this industry, manufacturing accounts for millions of on-the-job injuries every year. Certain sectors of manufacturing are more injury-prone than others. For example, workers who assemble computer electronic products have a much lower injury rate, at about 1.5 percent. Workers in the beverage, tobacco, metal, and wood manufacturing industries, on the other hand, suffer an average injury rate of just over six out of every 100.
Fishermen, farmers, forestry workers, and hunters suffer injuries at the rate of 4.8 workers out of every 100. There are less than 1 million workers in the agricultural industry, making the total number of injuries sustained relatively low when compared to larger industries. However, agricultural workers who commonly work with animals, such as ranch hands, have the highest injury rate out of any in this industry, with 5.2 injuries out of every 100 workers per year.
#3: Arts and Entertainment
The 2 million people involved in the entertainment and recreation industry experience an injury rate of 4.8 nonfatal injuries out of every 100 workers each year. The most dangerous sector of this industry involves those who work in spectator sports, the performing arts, and similar areas. These workers are much more injury prone, suffering a 6.7 percent injury rate. Workers in the gambling or gaming industry, on the other hand, only experience an injury rate of about 4.3 percent.
Of the nearly 4.5 million people employed in the transportation and warehousing industry, 5.2 out of every 100 workers suffer a nonfatal accident while on the job every year. The most dangerous subsection of this industry is, by far, the air transportation sector, where 8.1 percent of workers get injured on the job. The safest sector of this industry is railroad transportation, where only 2.0 out of every 100 workers suffer nonfatal injuries.
#1: Health Care
It’s ironic that workers in the industry responsible for caring for sick and injured people work in the industry responsible for the highest number of nonfatal on-the-job injuries. Over 16 million people are employed in the health care or social services industry in the United States, and workers suffer an average of 5.2 nonfatal injuries out of every 100 each year. The most dangerous subsection of this industry is the nursing home sector. Out of every 100 employees who work in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or residential care facility, 8.3 of them will suffer an injury while on the job.