For some North Carolina workers, a bad day on the job means missing a deadline or getting yelled at by the boss. For others, it could mean becoming seriously injured or worse. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries, on—the-job deaths have increased 9% between 2014 and 2019.
What is the most dangerous job in the country?
Given the nature of their work, some jobs are more dangerous than others. Logging, the most dangerous job in the country, is 33 times more dangerous than any other. They routinely come into contact with heavy equipment and logs, making it more likely to become injured.
Self-employed people are also more likely to lose their life on the job than salaried employees. Waged workers have an average fatality rate of 2.9 per 100,000 workers while the rate for self-employed workers was 9.4 during the same period.
Commonalities between dangerous workplaces
The highest fatality rates tend to be in places with regular contact with heavy machinery, driving for long periods of time or work from dangerous heights. Some jobs combine these factors, and the risk factor for workers increases. For example, electricians not only work with dangerous equipment, they also work at great height from which falling can be deadly. Similarly, construction workers operate heavy machinery, lift heavy objects, and work at heights.
Regardless of how dangerous a workplace is, an employer’s duty is to create a safe working environment. Where risks cannot be eliminated, employees should be trained on how to protect themselves and given proper safety equipment. Employers are also obligated to provide workers’ compensation to their injured employees that cover their wages and medical expenses, among other costs.