All workers in Pennsylvania face the threat of workplace accidents and injuries. However, there are certain types of occupations that carry a higher risk of injury or death. In the Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics documents the most dangerous jobs in the country. In 2016, 5,190 civilian workers died on the job, an increase of almost 6 percent from the prior year.
Loggers, fishers and pilots took the three top spots on the BLS’ list of dangerous occupations. Logging workers had 135.9 fatalities on the job per every 100,000 full-time workers in the industry. In total, 91 loggers lost their lives in 2016 from work-related causes. In comparison, 75 aircraft pilots died on the job in the same year. Some of the other dangerous jobs included roofing, sanitation professions, truck driving, farming and metalworking. Grounds maintenance workers and front-line construction trade supervisors rounded out the list of the 10 most dangerous occupations.
In all professions, car and truck accidents caused the greatest number of workplace fatalities. In fact, a full 40 percent of all workers killed on the job lost their lives in a transportation accident. Disturbingly, the second most likely cause was workplace violence. There were 500 homicides committed against workers on the job in 2016, the highest number in six years. Women were less likely to die in workplace fatalities than men, but women workers were more likely to die in a workplace homicide.
Workplace accidents can be devastating even when they are not fatal. People injured on the job can be forced out of the workplace and develop permanent disabilities. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help someone who has been hurt on the job protect their rights and pursue the benefits to which they are entitled.