Despite efforts to improve workplace safety with additional training, many jobs in the U.S. are still dangerous, resulting in serious injuries or fatalities.
The number of deaths of workers are on the decline to an average of 13 daily in 2015 compared to 38 in 1972, according to the U.S. Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The number of worker injuries and illnesses are also on a downward trend with 3 incidents per 100 in 2015, compared to 10.9 incidents per 100 workers.
Increasing awareness and training is one method to lower the amount of accidents occurring. OSHA has one compliance officer for every 59,000 workers or 2,100 inspectors examining worksites for 130 million workers. In fiscal year 2016 there were 31,948 federal inspections and 43,105 state plan inspections.
In 2015, 4,379 workers died on the job in the private industry and 21.4% of those fatalities occurred in the construction industry. The leading causes of the construction worker deaths were falls, struck by object, electrocution and caught-in/between. Those four causes were responsible for 64.2% of deaths of construction workers.
An analysis of 1.5 million workers' compensation claims from 2010 to 2015 by Travelers Companies, a New York-based insurance company, found that 30% consisted of strains/sprains and 19% were cuts/punctures. The data found that 28% of injuries occur during the first year of an individual's employment.
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"It's important for leadership to take a holistic approach and commit to creating a safety-conscious culture to help minimize the potential for workplace injuries," said Woody Dwyer, a vice president of workers compensation at Travelers. "This approach includes good hiring practices, ongoing training, enabling regular communication of policies and procedures and proper risk management."
Adopting technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality allows companies such as Schneider Electric, a French energy management and automation company, to simulate real environments to improve safety, especially in plant ranging from food processing to oil and gas.
"Safety is always a top concern for workers operating in industrial environments," said Ian Willetts, a vice president of simulation and training at Schneider Electric. "We provide safety, training and simulation solutions that take advantage of virtual and augmented reality to help educate our customer's workforce on how to be safe and be ready for unexpected situations. These new technologies are highly interactive, which helps to improve attention, engagement and retention."
The following 10 jobs are the most dangerous ones, according to CareerCast, a Carlsbad, Calif.-based job website, which referenced data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Center for Disease Control (CDC), OSHA and various trade organizations.
Editors' pick: Originally published June 8.
In 2015, 4,379 workers died on the job in the private industry and 21.4% of those fatalities occurred in the construction industry, according to OSHA.
The BLS said correctional institutions have an incident rate 8.2%, meaning that percentage of employees is at risk at any given time.
The CDC reports that EMTs receive 20,000 workplace injuries annually.
The CDC reports 167 agricultural workers are unable to work daily because of injuries or illnesses that occurred in the workplace.
The injury incident rate for firefighters is 12.1%, according to the BLS.
The BLS said nursing ranks as the second most physically hazardous industry since its incident rate is over 12%.
Police officers ranked in the top six of all professions for the amount of time lost at work due to workplace injuries, according to the BLS.
Since cab drivers are at risk of being robbed, their workplace danger increases. The good news is that OSHA reported a decline in driver fatalities since the late 1990s.
There are 11 accidents involving semi-trucks daily, according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
Veterinarians who work with livestock and other larger animals face the potential for serious injuries. The BLS says veterinarian services with over 9% of reported incidents.