The industry you choose to work in certainly has an impact on how much risk you face at work. Anyone can be injured in any setting. But, from a statistical perspective, injuries certainly happen more often to workers operating in specific industries.
As such, if you want to stay safer on the job, it’s worth asking if your industry is particularly dangerous. But you’ll find that even answering that relatively basic question is not quite as simple as you may assume.
Rates versus totals
What you will discover is that it really depends on how you define a risky industry. One of the most common ways to do this is by looking at the total number of fatal accidents that occur within a specific industry every year. If you do this, then the most dangerous industry is construction, and it isn’t even very close. This industry is often at the top of the list for total fatal accidents.
But what if you look at the fatal accident rate in an industry? Say that you consider how many workers pass away for every 100,000 people working in the industry. If you do this, then you’ll find that occupations involving agriculture, hunting, fishing and forestry are usually the most dangerous. This includes risks like working around heavy machinery on a farm, working on a deep-sea fishing boat or running heavy equipment and power tools on a logging site.
Why is there a difference? There’s a big discrepancy in the number of workers operating in each industry. Fishing, for example, is a far, far smaller industry than construction, which is one of the largest ones in the country. So your odds of being injured if you’re fishing are higher than they are if you worked construction. But there are relatively few people working in this industry, so you’re still going to have more injuries and fatalities in construction total, due to the millions that work within this industry.
Do you deserve compensation?
No matter what industry you work in, if you’ve been hurt on the job, you may be entitled to some form of workers’ compensation. This opportunity can help to cover medical bills and lost wages. Seeking legal guidance is usually the best first step forward after sustaining work-related harm.